On December 26, 2016, National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) permanently revoked the license of the Dhamma Media Channel (DMC.TV) on grounds of it being a threat to the national security of Thailand.
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.
Talk show host of Voice TV's Big Dose Program, M.L. Natthakorn, interviews Mr. Sampan Sermcheep, lawyer of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, on May 21, 2016 about the ongoing litigation against the temple and Venerable Dhammajayo.
In a recent interview [approx. June 2016], former Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police, Police General Sereepisuth Temiyaves, offers his two cents and suggestions to DSI regarding an alternative way to conduct their case against Phrathepyanmahamuni, Abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya. He also questions why they’re rushing this case. Pol. Gen. Sareepisuth is a well known national figure who is respected for his tenacious stance on crime and has an impeccable track record.
Many people have questioned the actions of the abbot’s supporters who aren’t allowing him to be tried by the courts. These observers state that the courts should decide whether he is guilty or not - not his supporters - and if Abbot Dhammajayo is truly innocent, his supporters shouldn’t be afraid to let the courts decide.
A recent court case unearthed, however, clearly illustrates just how the Thai judicial system is not always fair and just, and in this case example, the justice system can be a heartless example of what happens when an opportunity presents itself before the “haves” and the “have-nots.”
On May 26, 2016, TNN news anchor conducted a phone interview with Mr. Paramet Intarachumnum, Deputy Director General of the Office of Criminal Prosecutor, whereby Mr. Intarachumnum provides his expert opinion on DSI notifying suspects regarding the hearing of charges.
A Thai news anchor recently questioned a high-ranking DSI official on the Thairath TV show, "Tam Trong Trong (Direct Questions) with Jomkwan", which aired on May 18th, 2016, at 7pm UTC. This exchange was in regard to Wat Phra Dhammakaya's request for DSI to send a physician to examine and verify that the Abbot was truly ill and therefore unable to travel to DSI HQ to hear the charges against him.