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<p>The police have revealed that they have arrested a 14-year-old disciple of the Dhammakaya Temple for protesting against the junta’s use of Section 44 to tighten control around the Dhammakaya complex.</p> <p>On 15 March 2017, police officers of Khlong Luang Police Station of Pathum Thani Province confirmed to Prachatai that on 8 March they arrested a 14-year-old disciple of Dhammakaya Temple, whose identity is withheld due to privacy concerns.</p>
<div>While the junta thinks that Thai Buddhism will be purified by arresting the former abbot of Wat Dhammakaya, experts point out a lack of secularism and political tolerance is a real threat to the dominant religion.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>On 10 March 2016, Chiang Mai Univeristy’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology hosted a seminar “<a href="">Dhammakaya Crisis, Social Crisis?</a>” The panel discussed the ongoing harassment of Wat Dhammakaya and tried to propose a proper solution for society. </div>
<p>Soldiers and security officers have detained a member of an anti-establishment red shirt group at a market close to the Dhammakaya temple and told him not to enter the area again or risk imprisonment. &nbsp;</p> <p>On 5 March 2017, officers of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) and soldiers apprehended Anurak Jentawanit, a leader of a red shirt group called ‘Ford Red Path’ at Klang Khlong Luang market in Pathum Thani Province.</p> <p>The market is close to the Dhammakaya temple and is currently used by Dhammakaya monks and disciples as a gathering point.</p>
<p>Security officers have detained an anti-junta political dissident at the Dhammakaya Temple complex.</p> <p>At 4 pm on 2 March 2017, about 10 soldiers and officers from the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) detained taxi driver Phaisan Chantapan, a regular participant anti-junta political activities, at the Dhammakaya Temple in Pathum Thani Province, north of Bangkok.</p> <p>About two hours later, Phaisan told Prachatai that he had been taken to the Border Patrol Police Region 1 on suspicion of calling on Dhammakaya disciples to come to the temple.</p>
<div> <div>Mahidol University has censured its human rights institute for demanding the junta cease its use of Article 44. The demand came after a follower of the Dhammakaya sect committed suicide to protest the junta’s ongoing harassment of the temple. </div></div>
<div>Human rights lawyers have called on the junta to cease the use of absolute powers during the ongoing clash between authorities and monks at Wat Dhammakaya.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>On 20 February 2017, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) released <a href="">a statement</a> calling on the military government to cease the use of special powers in its raid of Wat Dhammakaya. </div>
<div> <div>Monks and worshippers of the Dhammakaya sect have staged a protest against orders for the arrest of their spiritual leader, after the authorities blocked them from entering the temple.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>On 22 February 2017, Ai Petthong, a representative of Dhammakaya followers, <a href="">told the media</a> that the authorities have prohibited over a thousand worshippers from entering Dhammakaya temple. </div></div>
By Khaosod English |
<p dir="ltr">A pop music event organizer apologized for lampooning the controversial Buddhist sect Dhammakaya at a party Saturday night following threats of legal action by the group. &nbsp;</p> <p>Even as its headquarters were under siege by law enforcement officers, and its leader wanted on embezzlement charges, the Dhammakaya sect said it was preparing a defamation suit against party organizer Trasher for blasphemy.</p>
<p>About two years ago, Prachatai columnist and university lecturer Surapot Thaweesak met a monk from the Dhammakaya Temple who visited his university to propose a joint Buddhist training programme for students.&nbsp; He was told that his university would have to recruit students to attend the programme and they would be required to pay for Dhamma books and other expenses.&nbsp; However, the temple provided a promotion discount for the expenses if his university decided to join the programme immediately.</p>