An Open Letter to DSI

Most Venerable Phrathepyanmahamuni (Luang Por Dhammajayo), the abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya

An Open Letter to DSI from the Former Member of the National Reform Council’s Committee for Religious Policy Reformation and Protection of Buddhism

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) is seeking an arrest warrant for the Most Venerable Phrathepyanmahamuni (Luang Por Dhammajayo) of Wat Phra Dhammakaya after he requested a postponement of appearance due to acute health issues. Although the official request was enclosed with a medical certificate and confirmation by his medical team, DSI has disregarded it and remains firm in its decision. As of now, the case against Ven. Dhammajayo is still under investigation. 

Ven. Dhammajayo is suffering from health issues

In requesting a postponement of appearance, the accused (Ven. Dhammajayo) has reasonable cause, that is, genuine health issues. In fact, a team of licensed medical doctors had confirmed that he was truly ailing and this official diagnosis was submitted as part of the request for postponement. DSI’s refusal to acknowledge the medical opinion in order to expedite the investigative process may arise from ulterior motives, as DSI is a government agency.

The spokesperson for Ven. Dhammajayo has stated that they are most willing to allow a team of medical officers appointed by the DSI to inspect and ascertain Ven. Dhammajayo’s physical condition, in the precinct of Wat Phra Dhammakaya if they so wished as the chief abbot is unable to walk. This will definitely enable them to establish a bona-fide conclusion of the chief abbot’s condition and remove any suspicions. However, against all lawful and humane procedures, DSI had ignored the medical certificate and requested the court issue a warrant for his arrest on April 26th, 2016. Also, no DSI medical officers were assigned to examine Ven. Dhammajayo to offer a professional opinion on his health status.

DSI may be subject to manipulation by the government in order to attack Buddhism

The government sector may be using DSI as a puppet to launch strategic attacks on the religious community. Keep in mind that Ven. Dhammajayo is not yet a defendant and the case is still in the inquiry process. Therefore, the expedition of the process without room for compromise signifies that DSI may have a hidden agenda. Regardless, this is causing an unnecessary, significant conflict that is catastrophic toward all Buddhists as a whole, not including political polarization.

Does this action promote peace and order?

The government’s National Council for Peace and Order initially declared that the government would protect and promote the peace of the nation. By engaging in this aggressive action against the Buddhist community, can the government still claim that it aims to provide for the peace and order of the country? 

With all due respect, I pray that the courts of justice take this case into fair consideration. With the possibility of the loss of faith in the government and kingdom in mind, I, on behalf of the entire religious community, plead for due process and consideration from the court of justice.

Sasinapa Nitidhampapon
Former Member of the National Reform Council’s Committee for Religious Policy Reformation and Protection of Buddhism