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Wai the need for violence?

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Wai the need for violence? | Thaiger

PHITSANULOK: Religious institutions are intended to be places of peace and goodwill, but a temple in Phitsanulok recently proved to be anything but when a monk who thought a nun had disrespected him responded by beating her.

At 9 am August 21, Maechi Phronchon Chomphukpan, 53, a nun at Wat Ban Khek in Nakhon Thai District, walked into the local district police station with her face swollen and covered in bruises. There she recounted to Duty Officer Lt Thanaphon Mekbut a bizarre story of intra-wat aggression.

Maechi Phronchon, who had lived at the temple for decades, said that the previous afternoon she had been walking to the bathroom behind the temple when she passed by a resident monk, identified only as “Phra Nom”, who was sleeping in a hammock. Suddenly the cleric shouted at her, demanding to know why she had not graced him with a wai.

“Nuns have to wai monks whenever they pass them,” he exclaimed allegedly in a drunken manner.

Maechi Phronchon apologized, saying that she had not noticed him. This was not good enough for Phra Nom, however. He launched into a tirade of insults so severe that Maechi Phronchon could only stand cowed, she said.

After his insults had run dry, Phra Nom demanded that Maechi Phronchon go and fetch her bankbook so he could “check that she had not been embezzling temple funds”. Maechi Phronchon refused on the grounds that Phra Nom was just a rank-and-file monk, with no authority to inspect her financial records.

This only to enraged Phra Nom further. Jumping down out of his hammock, he slapped and punched her until she fell down, she told police. He then sat on Maechi Phronchon’s neck and banged her head against the ground and wall until her face was bruised and bloodied.

 

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