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DSI calls for dissolution of foundation funding Dhammakaya cult

The Thaiger & The Nation

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DSI calls for dissolution of foundation funding Dhammakaya cult | The Thaiger
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“The foundation operates as a quasi-Buddhist cult and commands adherents to its teachings from around the world.”

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) is calling on public prosecutors to request the courts to dissolve the Khun Yay Maha Ratana Upasika Chandra Khonnokyoong Foundation. The Foundation was implicated in the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC) embezzlement case. The DSI say they want to prosecute members of the foundation’s committee for money laundering.

DSI also wants the prosecutors to ask the court to confiscate the foundation’s 13 billion baht assets.

The foundation, established in 2004, is under the patronage of Dhammakaya Temple’s ex-abbot Phra Dhammachayo, who faces an arrest warrant over money-laundering charges. The foundation operates as a quasi-Buddhist cult and commands adherents to its teachings from around the world.

Read more about the elusive Phra Dhammakaya HERE.

The renegade monk and his accomplices have been accused of accepting money from KCUC’s ex-boss Supachai Srisupa-aksorn, who is in jail for stealing billions of baht from the cooperative. The DSI had investigated Supachai and his accomplices over embezzlement charges, and then looked into Phra Dhammachayo and other people’s alleged role in money laundering and possession of stolen articles.

Since initial investigation uncovered transactions linked to the foundation, accused of constructing facilities for the temple using money that was allegedly swindled out of the KCUC, the DSI launched another probe, results of which were provided to reporters by Paisit yesterday.

Paisit says the investigators found the foundation and its board, led by billionaire telecom tycoon Boonchai Bencharongkul’s younger sister Wanna Chirakiti, guilty of conspiring to launder money and also violating the foundation’s objectives. Hence, he said, the DSI is recommending that prosecutors disband the foundation and seize its assets, including the assets already confiscated by the Anti-Money Laundering Office earlier.

The 2,000-rai Dhammakaya Temple in Pathum Thani’s Khlong Luang district has many newly built structures in its vast compound as well as in several affiliated centres nationwide.

The most expensive structure was the Khun Yay Maha Ratana Upasika Chandra Khonnokyoong Building, which cost 5 billion baht, followed by the temple’s car park costing 2.6 billion and the 1.5 billion baht World Peace Valley Meditation Centre at Khao Yai in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Pak Chong district. The meditation centre is also under investigation for alleged forest encroachment and misuse of land meant for agriculture.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Pollution

Bangkok governor warns of canal pollution

Jack Burton

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Bangkok governor warns of canal pollution | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bangkok Jack

Bangkok’s governor warns that the volume of garbage in Bangkok’s canals is increasing and is beginning to block the sewer system, causing potentially health-threatening floods in many areas. Governor Asawin Kwanmuang said the removal of garbage from canals in Lat Phrao district and under Pradit Manutham Road alone required 5 trucks.

The area is just a kilometre away from a Rama 9 pumping station, which drains water from Lat Phrao Canal and Saen Saeb Canal to the Chao Phraya River.

“If the rubbish blocks the pipes and the tunnels, the city will be unable to drain water during floods in the rainy season.”

The same problem is found in other districts, such as Chatuchak (northern suburbs of Bangkok). The governor has asked Bangkok residents to take this issue seriously, as the consequences are dire.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

Travelling Bangkok’s klongs with Manit

The Thaiger

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Travelling Bangkok’s klongs with Manit | The Thaiger

Should you move to Thailand? In this video I interviewed my friend @Christopher Lau , originally from California, USA and got a little insight of his experience behind living in Thailand for two years.

Then I took him for the famous canal boat ride in “Klong Saen Saep” Bangkok. By the end of the vlog we had a very delightful Thai food session (not so delightful for Chris 😂). Watch the video to find out more.

Manit is a YouTube vlogger and uses his camera and drone to allow us to see Bangkok from a different set of eyes.

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Tourism

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo reopen this week

The Thaiger

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Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo reopen this week | The Thaiger

As the country slowly dusts off the cobwebs of its tourism machine, the most popular tourist attraction of them all is about to reopen in the capital. The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) in Bangkok will be reopened this Thursday, June 4.

The reopening will be under strict health and safety measures to provide safety and health controls for visitors to reduce the possible spread of Covid-19. When visiting the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is asking everyone “to stay safe through this difficult time and follow the health and safety recommendations by keeping social distancing, wearing a mask or cloth mask, and frequently washing hands”.

When visiting the Grand Palace be aware that there are strict dress codes, above and beyond the requirements for Covid-19.

Bangkok’s Grand Palace outpaces the Eiffel Tower, Egypt’s Pyramids and Rome’s Colosseum to make the list of the world’s 50 Most Visited Tourist Attractions, according to leading travel magazine, Travel+Leisure. Based on the gate count, Bangkok’s Grand Palace attracts 8 million visitors a year making it the 8th most visited attraction in Asia and 40th in the magazine’s world’s top 50 list.

The Grand Palace complex was originally built in 1782, and consists of not only royal and religious halls, but also a number of government offices as well as the renowned Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It covers an area of 218,000 sq. metres and is surrounded by four border walls, 1.9 kilometres in length.

After King Rama I the Great ascended the throne in 1782, the Palace was built. Before this, the royal palace and centre of administration had been located in Thon Buri, on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River.

You can find more information about the Grand Palace Complex, and even book tickets, HERE.

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