Wat Dhammakaya now seems to become a military barrack rather than a Buddhist temple after the controversial abbot’s followers erected barbed wire fence on the temple walls, floated surveillance balloon, increased new closed circuit cameras, set up more road barricades, and deployed more security personnel on ground as they feared that the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) may storm in to arrest their abbot, Phra Dhammachayo.
The increased security measure is on top of the existing tightened security which include blocking main entrance to the temple with backhoe tractors, zoning road security with several steps of checkpoints within the temple ground to the place where the abbot is staying, and sealing all gates in and out of the temple.
Nobody will be allowed except those granted permits by the temple.
The increased security did not surprise a large contingent of reporters present at the Dhammakaya temple yesterday and today to keep up with developments involving the controversial abbot.
What they saw was dramatically increased safety from previous days are the several backhoe tractors and power poles being employed as obstacles to prevent entry.
On top of this, higher barbed wire fencing has been placed on the tops of the temple walls and also clearly visible were new closed-circuit cameras that have been installed at strategic locations.
A balloon equipped with a camera to capture developments has also been floated from the temple’s ground to serve as an added precaution.
A strong force of security personnel has also been posted at the main entrance allowing only persons allowed by the temple officials to enter.
The temple’s PR officer Phra Maha Nopporn Punyachayo revealed at a press conference yesterday that the increased security measures were ordered to prevent ill-intention third-parties from taking advantage of the situation to make trouble.
But he assured that officials from the DSI would be allowed to enter the temple grounds if they wish.
At the same conference, a personal spokesman of the abbot also raised questions over the legality of the case against the abbot Phra Dhammachayo.
He claimed that all damage compensation payments have already been paid to members of the Klong Chan Credit Union Cooperative embezzlement case and that legal case should be settled.
He went on to say that as negotiations were underway between the abbot and the DSI to allow them to enter temple grounds to talk with the abbot, but the authority’s preparations of an assault team equipped with helicopters was thus too extreme and unnecessary.