Skip to main content

A Buddhist monk in Isan, Thailand’s northeast, has confessed to the rape and murder of a six-year-old boy.  

On 11 October 2016, the police of Mancha Khiri District in the Isan province of Khon Kaen, told media that Niran Chonyuth, a 36-year-old Buddhist monk from Sawang Kongkaram Temple, had confessed to the rape and murder of a six-year-old boy referred to as ‘Oat’.

Oat’s parents filed a complaint to Mancha Khiri District Police Station shortly after he went missing on 9 October 2016. The police then quickly interrogated 15 witnesses before arresting Niran.

Most witnesses told the police that Oat was last seen with the monk, who offered some desserts to the child. Oat’s body was later found in the rice field behind the temple.

Pol Col Banjong Sirisut, the Director of Mancha Khiri District Police Station, stated that Niran confessed to anal raping Oat to death with another 15-year-old man referred to as ‘Aek’ and dumped the body behind the temple. The two now stand accused of rape and murder.

News of sexual abuses done to male children within Buddhist temples in Thailand have made headlines before.

In April 2011, a young Buddhist novice referred to as ‘Tong’, who was ordained at a temple in Phurue District of Loei Province, was anal raped by a group of senior monks and a civil servant in the temple including the abbot of the temple.

After Tong’s parents filed a complaint to the police about the abuse, another family in the district reported that their twin children, who were ordained in April 2010 at the same temple, were also raped by senior monks.

Before the prosecutor indicted the rapists, the abbot fled to Laos before being arrested by the Laos authorities for illegally entering the country. Another senior monk of the temple was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, according to Thairath news.

In response to the scandal, the National Office of Buddhism (NOB) announced that it would enforce measures to ensure sexual abuses done to children would not occur again within temples. The personal history of Buddhist monks will be carefully checked while monks who have committed such crimes will be disrobed and prosecuted.

Prachatai English's Logo

Prachatai English is an independent, non-profit news outlet committed to covering underreported issues in Thailand, especially about democratization and human rights, despite pressure from the authorities. Your support will ensure that we stay a professional media source and be able to meet the challenges and deliver in-depth reporting.

• Simple steps to support Prachatai English

1. Bank transfer to account “โครงการหนังสือพิมพ์อินเทอร์เน็ต ประชาไท” or “Prachatai Online Newspaper” 091-0-21689-4, Krungthai Bank

2. Or, Transfer money via Paypal, to e-mail address: [email protected], please leave a comment on the transaction as “For Prachatai English”