Abbot on the run

NAKHON SRI THAMMARAT: Police are hunting for the abbot of a temple after he allegedly beat up his male lover in the early hours of January 23.

Police were called to Wat Khuan Soong in Chawang District just before 4 am by a man who said that the temple abbot had beaten him with a chair.

When they arrived at the scene, police were met by Phonsak Suthi, 26, who came running out of a dark corner where he had been hiding. His face was heavily bruised. He told police that the man who had attacked him was none other than the abbot of the temple, Phrakhru Anekdhammakhun, 42.

Police said that Mr Phongsak told them that he had lived together with Phrakhru Anekdhammakhun as “husband and wife” since October of last year.

On the night of the incident, he and three friends went to the abbot’s cell to drink beer, though Mr Phongsak himself didn’t drink. After his friends went home, he crawled into bed with Phrakhru Anekdhammakhun. He then noticed some suspicious-looking white stains on the sheets.

“I asked [Phrakhru Anekdhammakhun] where the stains had come from, and he answered that he had a new boy on the go. I became angry and jealous and an argument started. Phrakhru Anekdhammakhun grabbed a torch and beat me with it. He then picked up a wooden chair and beat me some more,” Mr Phongsak said.

Investigating Officer Lt Col Wanchai Dokkhan from Chawang Police said they had taken Mr Phongsak to Somdetphrayupharach Hospital Chawang for treatment and to get a medial report to use in preparing assault charges against Phrakhru Anekdhammakhun. Police will then call for Phrakhru Anekdhammakhun to come to Chawang Police Station to be charged, Lt Col Wanchai added.

On searching Phrakhru Anekdhammakhun’s cell, police found a large amount of gay pornography, Lt Col Wanchai said.

“Police and local villagers are now hunting for the abbot, who we believe is still in the area,” he added.

Suriyan Anuphak, 41, spokesman for Tambon Chawang Village 8 Community, where the temple is situated, said that it was good that this scandal had come to light as villagers have known about the abbot’s behaviour for some time but had no evidence so didn’t know what to do about it. He added that he had previously told a journalist about the villagers’ suspicions and asked him to find evidence about the abbot, but believes the journalist was paid not to publish the story.

Chawang District Chief Sakon Chanrak said that this was very inappropriate behaviour and he had ordered the district cultural office to work with the local Sangha office in solving the problem.

Thailand News

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