Post Today: A Simple Matter Made Complicated

A commentary written by S. Klongtoei for the Post Today, “A simple matter made complicated,” posted on June 19, 2016.

Thai language source:


This past week, news of plans to arrest the Abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya drew great interest from the media and people throughout the country. Within the intrigue are people who perceive it as a political division of camps. Many are convinced that the Abbot is guilty and a swift and definitive prosecution is needed. Opinions are pouring from people of various backgrounds--some possessing Right View while others holding the opposite. The faces of this latter group are familiar ones, where names are not necessary to guess who they are.

There is a large number of people who are confused by news of the government with DSI as its agent. Familiar faces, both monks and layperson, along with a former Dhammakaya follower--waiting to fuel the fire using various ploys. That’s why we see this former Dhammakaya follower whose head is still shaven, as if he doesn’t want to forget that he was once a monk. The public are left increasingly flummoxed by the actions of the government.

It’s like a plot out of a drama episode: thwart Somdej Phramaharatchamangkalachan, the Abbot of Wat Paknam Bhasijaroern and acting Supreme Patriarch, from ever becoming the permanent Supreme Patriarch.

If you followed the news, you’d clearly recognize the narrative. And it wouldn’t be inaccurate to interpret it as an attempt to destroy Buddhism. Because if you take out the leader, its followers will become incapacitated.

Those aiming to take down or make the arrest are still going about it without end. They should channel that energy to see how Wat Phra Dhammakaya has helped Buddhism. Take the three southern provinces for instance--for the past 12 years, the temple has led the way in aiding Buddhists struggling in that area. Instead, they’re trying to destroy Wat Phra Dhammakaya with false accusations. It doesn’t require much thought as to whom he’s doing this for.

Looking back at the actions by the different groups of people that tried to remove the former prime minister, who is living in exile in another country, we see the recurring faces of principal players from that time. Their actions are similar to the one staged in the past at the state offices in the Chaeng Wattana area. When that is recognized, we see the plans to arrest the Abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya like a drama about seizing the authority of the Sangha Supreme Council.

Because each incident, each occurrence, including the event related to the Abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, are all simple but have become complicated and protracted. And it’s becoming uncontrollable.

In regards to receiving donations from Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative, the former chairman is in prison and the money the temple received has been returned. This has allowed the credit union to have enough cash flow to operate its business today. Also, the boards of the credit union withdrew all lawsuits against the temple.

This seems like  a simple and easy matter, but it has become complicated and drawn-out because DSI is trying to trace additional money the credit union lost, with the sole aim of arresting the Abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya.

This is regardless of the substantial money the credit union loss from other activities and to other individuals. This amount is significantly greater than the amount donated to the temple--of which it has already received. Apparently, DSI does not care to follow up on the other cases as if there were only one defendant.

Similarly, there are thousands of luxurious Mercedes Benz, yet DSI is intensively trying to prosecute only Somdej Phramaharatchamangkalachan.

Once there was a press conference about the health conditions of the Abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, and DSI was invited to conduct the investigation at the temple. Had DSI gone, it would have ended easily.

But DSI has its own set of rules, making everything difficult. Presently, it looks quite messy, as if the government’s waging a war against monks and devotees of Wat Phra Dhammakaya.

They should not complicate something so simple. Or is DSI wishing for forces to block Somdej Phramaharatchamangkalachan?