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Recap of Wat Phra Dhammakaya Press Conference: June 7, 2016

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On June 7, 2016, Mr. Ong-Art Thamnita, Spokesperson of Supporters and Followers of Wat Phra Dhammakaya delivered a public statement. We have translated the recap of this press conference below.

1)

There have been instigators seeking to divide Buddhism, according to the Post Today’s headline: “Phra Payom sees through Phra Dhammajayo’s game, urging to cut food supplies”. The Dhammakaya temple teaches its followers to respect every single monk and would like to decline any political involvement in all cases. Everyone visiting the temple must set aside their political differences. The Abbot deeply respects the laws, and he only speaks the truth and has never spoken ill of others. This is absolutely contrary to what Phra Payom has claimed. 

Mr. Somkiat Onwimon has posted defaming posts on his personal twitter account, which is against the Computer Act. Numerous Buddhist groups have reported this to the police.

500 Venerable monks in different provinces of Thailand offer flowers to the Abbot as a way to give their support to the Dhammakaya temple.

TNews’s headlines: “Dhammakaya temple is brainwashing its followers, and all the monks around Thailand are arrested for receiving donations from people.” These headlines are damaging to Buddhism. The venerable monks from various provinces in Thailand have concluded that phlegmatism will lead to the downfall of Buddhism, and this could happen during our lifetime. We must fight and are willing to give up our lives to protect Buddhism. What has recently happened in the news is pure slander. The Abbot has never touched the money. The Dhammakaya temple has a Committee that handles its finances.

2)

The fabricated rumors that the temple is an independent state.

Some newspapers accused the temple of being an independent state. The Dhammakaya temple rejects this claim entirely. The Dhammakaya temple is a Buddhist temple not an independent state or sub-state. The temple was built lawfully just like any other Buddhist temples. Accusing the temple’s followers of treason is a serious accusation.

3)

Criticizing the Abbot’s medical teams

Some medical professionals have accused the Abbot’s medical teams of staging his illness. This action is not according to the medical code of ethics. The Dhammakaya’s legal team has compiled evidence of slander and attempts at defamation against these medical professionals. The posts that are perceived to be ill-intended will be submitted to the Medical Council requesting such posts to be deleted and a statement of apology issued.

4)

Some police officers suggested the temple beware of a “third party”

We would like to thank you for your concern. If there are any suspicious persons in the temple, they will be asked to leave the temple premises immediately.

The temple’s lawyer and the legal team are pressing charges against Phra Buddha Isara and Mr. Paiboon Nititawan. These two individuals have acted unlawfully such as defaming Somdej Chuang, the acting Supreme patriarch. The legal team is pressing charges on behalf of Buddhism as a whole, not just as Dhammakaya followers. This action is not being influenced by someone behind-the-scenes.

BangkokBizNews: Dhammakaya Not Worried About Water-Electricity Cut Off, Denies Mobilizing Human Shield

May 29, 2016, 7:30 AM Thailand time

Source: http://www.bangkokbiznews.com/news/detail/700067

Dhammakaya is not worried about water and electricity cut off. Denies mobilizing human shield. Fears third party entering and exiting the premises

Throughout the day at Wat Phra Dhammakaya, supporters continuously arrived to join in meditation and the overnight retreat at the Temple. A recording of Venerable Dhammajayo’s guided meditation is played during the meditation sessions. Meanwhile, Mr. Ong-art Thamnittha, spokesperson for the supporters of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, confirmed that the masses of people coming to the Temple are not here to pressure anyone but to meditate, wish Ven. Dhammajayo a speedy recovery from his illness, and offer their support. Backhoe trucks are used to block some of the entrances to the temple except for the main gate to prevent third parties from instigating trouble. Mr. Ong-art affirms that it is not meant to be permanent. People can still enter and exit the temple. The temple’s supporters respect the law and will not resort to violence.

In respect to DSI’s plan to cut food supply, water and electricity, Mr. Ong-art believes that DSI won’t carry this out. But if DSI does, there shouldn’t be any problems or concerns because everyone joining the meditation retreat is practicing detachment from all comforts and conveniences. This is a practice on patience and perseverance.

NationTV22: DSI Reveals Plan to Cut off Temple’s Food and Water Supply as a Tactic Against Phra Dhammajayo

DSI Reveals Plan to Cut off Temple’s Food and Water Supply as a Tactic Against Phra Dhammajayo.     5,000 Monks-Supporters estimated to be at the Temple. NationTV22

DSI Reveals Plan to Cut off Temple’s Food and Water Supply as a Tactic Against Phra Dhammajayo.

5,000 Monks-Supporters estimated to be at the Temple. NationTV22

May 27, 2016 17:05 Thailand Time

Source: http://www.nationtv.tv/main/content/social/378503257/

A source says that today DSI estimated there were about 5,000 people at Wat Phra Dhammakaya, including monks and lay people. There were more people today than yesterday (May 26). DSI believes people will continue to come to the temple. State authorities are observing all 15 entrances and are preparing for operations in the next step of their plan, which is to stop the transportation of rice, and disconnect water and food supplies to Wat Phra Dhammakaya.

This will prove who has more endurance - the temple supporters or the state authorities. The government is confident that its forces are stronger because police reinforcements can be mobilized at any time. Once food and water supplies are cut, the Temple’s supporters will gradually leave the Temple. The authorities will then reestimate the number of people who remain inside the temple and ask them to leave before the authorities conduct an inspection within the temple premises. To avoid conflict, this is the gentlest approach. 

The source stated that in the long term, the government wants the public to see what’s right and to express their opinions in order for the Sangha to pressure and investigate their own members. Nonetheless, Venerable Dhammajayo’s current location cannot be determined. He is most likely inside the Dhammakaya Cetiya, but [DSI] requests cooperation from the press as he may have relocated to another location.