12 May 2016 KCUC Speaks Out After DSI is Urged by Third Parties to Expedite Case

Mr. Prakit  Pilangkasa, Committee Chairman for the Revival of Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC) speaks out after Mr. Thammanoon Attichoti and Mr. Paiboon Koomchaya urges DSI to expedite the case on 10 May 2016

Full video in Thai

Transcript of the 12 May 2016 KCUC Press Conference:

Klongchan Credit Union Corporative (KCUC) has tens of thousands of members, and he [Mr. Thammanoon] is just one of the members. Recently, we’ve created a recovery plan to repay our debts to our members and creditors, so it’s not unusual to hear differing opinions on this matter. This plan was proposed by the current Board of Directors. Mr. Thammanoon is a member who is entitled to his views, and his views are independent of our present plans. He has been engaging in activities for some time now that expresses views which oppose those of the Board. I’ve only come to learn of his actions at DSI yesterday after watching Mr. Paiboon’s interview.

Q: Does KCUC support yesterday’s action by Mr. Thammanoon, Mr. Paiboon, and Mr. Mano [Laohavanich]?

A: It has nothing to do with us. Let’s take them one by one. Mr. Mano gives an interview that portrays the credit union negatively; so we are consulting our lawyers whether legal action can be taken. Mr. Paiboon has absolutely nothing to do with us. All we know is that as a political figure he has a certain responsibility in society and influence. We all know what his personal opinions are on such things. He has no ties with KCUC whatsoever. Mr. Thammanoon is the only one out of the trio who actually has ties with KCUC. He is free to express his opinions. Whether his actions are disliked or violate anyone’s rights, the victims will have to make that evaluation themselves.

Q: Has Mr. Thammanoon ever demonstrated similar behaviors at the credit union?

A: He has regularly expressed his disagreements with the Board of Directors’ actions through various social media outlets. The differing of opinions are often expressed as criticisms, and they are views that anyone can have. The board has the duty to carry out its policies and follow its plans. Although Mr Thammanoon’s views differ from the board’s, we do not criticize him. If any of his ideas were useful, we will take them into consideration. However, we will not implement ideas that we disagree with.

Q: Is Mr Thammanoon’s recent action beneficial to KCUC members?

A: As I’ve said earlier, we have many members. Some of the members suffered from the crisis, which have been reflected through different means: some extreme, some peaceful. I’m quite certain that many of the members have questions about the plausibility of Mr. Thammanoon’s ideas. I believe that the majority of them believe in our plan for recovery. When we had our meeting to vote on this plan, 88% [of the board of directors] were in favor because 80% of all members agreed with this plan of action. Mr. Thammanoon was part of the group that disagreed, but since we follow a democratic structure, we must follow the action plan voted by the majority.

Q: There was a letter submitted to DSI Director, saying that the special funds from the supporters of Wat Phra Dhammakaya were given to the KCUC to urge the credit union to withdraw both civil and criminal lawsuits against Ven. Dhammajayo, and only a partial amount of the funds were given, a portion of the funds that were said to be the actions of these 2 individuals. The funds were not meant to be a refund, but came with a clause that it may be recalled by law, even though Ven Dhammajayo and Wat Phra Dhammakaya have over a billion that a lawsuit may be filed for. If the credit union filed a serious lawsuit against them, you may receive all the money back with interest to repay the members. The agreement clause was written in favor of Ven. Dhammajayo, and not the credit union’s members.

How would you clarify this issue that also alleged the credit union?

A: The recovery plan must find funding to repay debts that include debt to tens of thousands of members, and over 70 other credit unions, amounting to 18 billion baht. Therefore, the source of these funds must come from several places, as the plan states. One of the sources is the funds from the lawsuits against Mr. Supachai and associates. A large sum of money was taken from the credit union through Mr. Supachai’s cheques. It is a lot of money compared to the amount the temple received. Yes, the temple has a lot of assets. In reality, we filed civil lawsuits against Mr. Supachai, Wat Phra Dhammakaya, and Most Ven. Dhammajayo. We never filed any criminal lawsuits against the temple. We have been in contact with the temple about refunding the donations since we saw that it was the member’s money, used wrongly by Mr. Supachai. The supporters of the temple wanted the problem to cease and to preserve the image of the abbot, so they raised the funds themselves to help the members of the credit union. It was not Ven. Dhammajayo’s money. On our side, we filed many lawsuits against Mr. Supachai and never got a dime because the cases have not concluded. The prosecutors made a decision, but the refund never arrived. We currently have one billion baht in funds. The first amount of 684 million was the first sum which we will use to repay the members this June. If anyone said that the funds from the supporters of the temple was not helpful, that is not true. The only reason we could repay any of the debtors is because of the temple. This is the truth.

Q: Lastly, what would you like to say to the third party joining KCUC members and causing lots of confusion?

A: I’ve very disappointed in the non-members who joined the mob. The information they gave was information from Mr. Thammanoon because he has said the same things many times before. The third party who joined yesterday just repeated Mr. Thammanoon’s opinions.

Q: Do you have anything to say to the supporters of Wat Phra Dhammakaya?

A: The members realize that the amount of money received to aid us was not a small amount. To be honest, it wasn’t even their obligation to sacrifice that much money. It was an act arising from their faith. The credit union would like to thank the supporters. Though there were clauses and agreements that came with the money, they were all reasonable.

Q: What’s the truth behind the 6% interest on this 600 million from the supporters of the temple? Any truth to the supporters tagging on a 6% interest to the 600 plus million funds?

A: I’ve never heard about this 6% interest before.

Q: The funds were not meant to only help, but it came with interest.

A: The credit union has a plan to help affected members by allowing for loans no larger than 50,000 baht. We will charge a 6% interest. Let me be clear. We are not using the temple’s money, 684 million, which will be used in June. The loan that has 6% interest is from another sum of funds. Each month we will allocate about 10 million to be borrowed and allow members in need to take out a maximum loan of 50,000 baht at 6% interest.

Q: Are the funds that the temple supporters gave to the KCUC subject to recall?

A: There is an agreement because it is not the abbot’s money that’s being returned. It is a fund raised with the agreement that if in the future, the court decided what Mr. Supachai took wasn’t KCUC’s money, we will have to return the funds to the supporters. This is just hypothetical.

Q: What about the accusation that in exchange for the money you will not pursue legal actions against Luang Por [Ven. Dhammajayo]?

A: Only the court can decide who is right or wrong. What we did was for the benefit of the credit union’s members.

Q: Mr. Thammanoon tried to show that his actions yesterday represented the attitude of all 50,000 members. He acted on behalf of all members, filing a criminal lawsuit for receiving stolen property. Is he a representative for all the members?

A: When we watched the news and the newscaster asks anyone a question, they always claim to be representing the people. I don’t think it’s that way. Real members would know who is who. Who agrees with Thammanoon, and who are outsiders. For outsiders, I think they should try to learn the situation fully first.

Q: What will be the consequences of Mr. Thammanoon’s press exposure?

A: It will create a bad image for the credit union. This would hinder the plan of action. Debtors who hold a net worth of over 9 billion baht agreed, with 80% confidence, with the plan of action.  Even the government agreed to help find funds if the members were in favor. Even the court was sure that the government wouldn’t abandon the credit union. Therefore, the plan was sanctioned by many sectors. People who disagree would not know if their own ideas would be guaranteed to work better than our plan or not.

INNNews & WINNEWS: World Theravada Buddhist Sangha Council pleads with Prime Minister to Use Peaceful Means with Ven. Dhammajayo Case


May 31, 2016 14:53 Thailand time 


A letter from the World Theravada Buddhist Sangha Council (WTBSC) to H.E. General Prayuth Chan-O-Cha implores him to find peaceful means to halt the human rights violations of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) on Phrathepyanmahamuni (Most Venerable Dhammajayo).

Venerable Pasura Dantamano, Chief of International Affairs Division at Wat Phra Dhammakaya, indicated that the World Theravada Buddhist Sangha Council has filed a letter via email with the Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-O-Cha requesting that he find a peaceful resolution.

At the present moment, Wat Phra Dhammakaya is in a delicate position that warrants grave concern for its abbot, who is defamed and being unjustly charged by Thailand’s (DSI). Since the lawsuit lacks solid evidence, the World Theravada Buddhist Sangha Council fears that he is being unfairly persecuted.  

DSI has violated many laws, including issuing an arrest warrant based on the mere reason that Ven. Dhammajayo did not meet with DSI officials as requested. This is in spite the temple’s plea for DSI to present the abbot with his charges at the temple due to illness that had been verified by a panel of doctors.     

The temple confirms they submitted this request to DSI repeatedly so that they could send their panel of medical specialists to verify Ven. Dhammajayo’s health condition at Wat Phra Dhammakaya. What is suspicious is DSI has refused to respond to their plea and insists on issuing an arrest warrant, which is considered a clear violation of patient rights.

DSI has indicated that it will enlist the help of 2,200 troops in order to arrest the ailing 72-year old monk. Ven. Dhammajayo has dedicated his entire life to fostering world peace and disseminating Buddhism. The attitude and actions of DSI are short of justice and beyond what is necessary. This creates tremendous doubts and uncertainty for other organizations working toward peace and morality.

WTBSC, thus, requests H.E. General Prayuth Chan-O-Cha, Prime Minister of Thailand, to review this matter and generate a peaceful solution to end all violations by DSI on Wat Phra Dhammakaya. WTBSC firmly believes H.E. will understand the sensitivity of the situation and will move forward in a manner most appropriate and most compassionately towards this Buddhist monk.

Security measures around Wat Phra Dhammakaya have been set up.  Venerable Noppon Punyachayo, Deputy Director of Communications, admitted there has been just cause for the increased security measures that included installing barbed-wire onto the temple’s external walls and other areas, and increased numbers of CCTV to monitor people entering and exiting the temple. However, Venerable Noppon affirms that there has been no use of force and that the temple remains positive. There is concern and precaution against third parties who may cause unnecessary problems.

At the same time, the International Buddha Education Institute and YSSSR Foundation (IBEI-YSSSRF) in India presented the 2016 Symbol Peace Award to the Most Venerable Phrathepyanmahamuni Dhammajayo Bhikkhu and the 2016 Global Peace Ambassador Award to the Dhammakaya Foundation to recognize their “devotion, dedication and commitment towards the development of peace and harmony in society.”


Additionally, letters from other organizations located in Korea and Japan have been sent to ask the Prime Minister to intervene in the case including the Theravada Sangha Senate of Korea; We Love Peace Association of Saitama, Japan; and the Thai-Japanese Relations Association of Tokyo, Japan, amongst others.


Soldiers Obstruct a Peaceful Gathering

Soldiers obstruct a peaceful gathering of Ven. Dhammajayo's supporters at the Damrong Dhamma Center in Sisaket Province on May 3, 2016.

Soldiers obstruct a peaceful gathering of Ven. Dhammajayo's supporters at the Damrong Dhamma Center in Sisaket Province on May 3, 2016.

Soldiers obstructed a peaceful gathering of supporters pleading for justice in the case against Ven. Dhammajayo last week.

On May 3rd 2016, over 200 of Ven. Dhammajayo’s supporters went to Damrong Dhamma Center in Sisaket Province to submit a plea for justice letter. During this peaceful event, a group of soldiers came to threaten the crowd of supporters. However, without retaliation, the supporters continued in their efforts to submit the open letter plea for justice at the Damrong Dhamma Center.

Notably, many groups of Ven. Dhammajayo’s supporters submitted their plea for justice and protection against DSI’s allegations. DSI has issued a summons for Ven. Dhammajayo, which may lead to an arrest warrant on the upcoming date, May 16.

Both the government officials and officers have cooperated in each province. Sisaket Province was the only exception. Soldiers arrived and spoke to the supporters in a threatening manner. However, with an unfaltering heart full of faith for Ven. Dhammajayo, the supporters stuck to their conviction and submitted their plea for justice to government sectors, including Sisaket province’s Damrong Dhamma Center, the Office of Buddhism, and City Hall. Everyone welcomed the supporters with greetings and smiles… except for the soldiers who were very keen to just intimidate people.

This was not the only instance that the military tried to interfere and repress actions of the free citizens in Thailand. It has been, and continues to be, a chronic occurrence ever since the military took over the governance of the country. See what the Chicago Tribune has to say about this in their article: "Military repression halts progress: So much for paradise in Thailand"