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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.

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.