Monk gone rogue: Novice vanishes from temple, reappears briefly

Picture courtesy of Sanook

A 16 year old novice monk who went missing from a temple in Kanchanaburi, was found in Nonthaburi but has since disappeared again, leaving only his sash and a note behind.

Yesterday, June 20, at Bang Bua Thong Police Station in Nonthaburi, Somchit, the abbot of Wiakakee Temple in Sangkhla Buri, Kanchanaburi, and Wichai Saisangsin, the village headman, travelled from Sangkhla Buri to Bang Bua Thong after Siwa’s parents reported their son’s disappearance on June 19.

The novice monk, Siwa, who is of Karen ethnicity, was initially located at the Bang Bua Thong Police Station. However, upon their arrival, they found only his robe and sash on the station’s counter, along with a note.

“I’m going back to the temple if the knee heals. My name is Siwa, I’m 16 years old.”

Related news

Somchit, the abbot, explained that Siwa, who has been a novice for over a year, is a quiet individual who seldom interacts with others.

“He is a Karen and struggles with speaking clearly. He has been learning to write Thai and has been at the temple with no issues until now. He rarely talks and avoids eye contact, even with me. His parents mentioned that he might have psychological issues, but this is the first time he has wandered so far from the temple.”

Novice found

The abbot recounted that earlier in the morning, a monk from Wat Lad Pladuk informed him that a novice had been found at Bang Bua Thong Police Station. Village headman Wichai and Somchit coordinated to retrieve Siwa, who had been reported wandering on Bang Bua Thong-Suphanburi Road by locals. Due to the novice’s lack of identification and incoherent speech, locals suspected he might be an impostor monk and contacted the police.

Police confirmed Siwa’s legitimacy and brought him to the station, where his behaviour, such as wandering around in his robe, prompted the request to change into casual clothes provided by the officers.

By approximately 4.30pm, when Somchit and Wichai arrived at the police station, Siwa had disappeared again. They found only his sash and a note, which Somchit identified as Siwa’s handwriting.

“I tried calling him, but he didn’t answer and then turned off his phone. I’m worried about his well-being since he cannot communicate well and barely writes in Thai.

“If we don’t find him today, we’ll return to Kanchanaburi and wait for the police to contact us.”

Village headman Wichai corroborated the abbot’s account, mentioning that Siwa had a history of wandering but had never travelled as far as this time, reported Sanook.

“Siwa’s parents informed me of his disappearance, and we have been helping search for him. He has a history of mental health issues and previously wandered off but never this far.

“We learned he was spotted in Nonthaburi, so we came to get him. However, upon arrival, he was already gone. The police are currently checking CCTV footage. If we don’t find him today, we’ll head back as I have other responsibilities. Anyone who sees Siwa, please contact us as his parents are very concerned.”

Monk gone rogue: Novice vanishes from temple, reappears briefly | News by Thaiger
Picture of the note the novice monk left with his sash courtesy of Sanook

Thailand News

Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

Related Articles