Summary of Key Points
1 June 2016 14.30 hrs. Video in Thai here.
By Ong-Art Thamnitta and Leelavadee Wacharobol
In regards to the news that has spread regarding the temple resorting to brute force, awaiting reinforcements, and barricading the premises:
Mr. Ong-Art: This is completely false. The temple has only opened the main entrances, and will keep only these open. This includes the entrance from Klong Luang Road. There is no barricade but only young volunteers to welcome visitors. Entrance 5 is also open and supervised on a regular basis. Some TV channels have claimed that additional backup--strong, able-bodied men--have come into the temple steadily. This, too, is not true at all. Only the lay congregants have come in to practice meditation.
Some individuals have wondered about the barbed wire installed above the temple walls. The answer is the other side is private property and has nothing to do with the temple. The barbed wire is there because the temple supporters are concerned about safety.
Heavy equipment vehicles have been removed from the entrance in front of the main chapel because the situation has improved. The vehicles did not belong to the temple, but rather they belonged to supporters who were concerned about Ven. Dhammajayo’s safety. Additionally, the local residents have listened to news from the prime minister who reassured them that nothing will occur, leading them to move their trucks.
Another unfounded allegation is: The portable toilet tents are used to conceal the digging of trenches to prevent access to Ven. Dhammajayo.
Mr. Ong-Art: This tent is basically a portable bathroom. (He also demonstrates how it is used.)
From the allegations by the Justice Minister who said, “Do not use the masses to obstruct the law.” Wat Phra Dhammakaya continues to fully respect the law.
The allegations related to Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC): Why hasn’t there been an investigation into donations made to other organizations. Why is the focus solely on the temple?
Two KCUC executives were previously interviewed, and the video was broadcast at the press conference: The supporters of Wat Phra Dhammakaya have established a fund to help the credit union members who were affected by the case. We do not understand the accusations brought by Mr. Mano and Mr. Paiboon that the temple has engaged in wrongdoing, as they have nothing to do with the case.
Ms. Leelavadee Wacharobol spoke about the sharing of a post via social media, which stated ‘if Ven. Dhammajayo is truly guilty, she and his supporters will hang themselves’.
Ms. Leelavadee refuted these claims, saying that she has already filed a claim with the police and will pursue the maximum legal action available.
If what the Minister says is not true, we ask that he be penalized or request that he ask for forgiveness at the government office. He has to be held accountable for spreading these rumors, which has caused the temple and Ven. Dhammajayo to be seen as guilty by the public - although the information has merely been speculations.
Ms. Leelavadee emphasized that Ven. Dhammajayo teaches people to be virtuous, to meditate, and to share the truth with the public in a respectable manner.
It concluded with questions from reporters:
Will there be a medical examination of Ven. Dhammajayo by the Medical Council?
Mr. Ong-Art indicated that we are past that juncture. It is no longer necessary for the medical examination to take place. At this time, this matter is being reviewed by the governing Sangha.
Lastly, during lunch hour today, Buddhist monks from the northeast region came to offer their moral support to Ven. Dhammajayo.