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Protesters in Los Angeles seek justice for Ven. Dhammajayo

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On Tuesday, May 10, Buddhists in Los Angeles, California gathered in front of multiple news stations to protest the injustice in Thailand. They occupied the areas in front of KABC channel 7, KTLA channel 5, and CBS channel 2. These protesters claimed they want to spread awareness about the lawsuit in Thailand concerning Phrathepyanmahamuni (Most Ven. Dhammajayo), the Abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, one of the largest Buddhist temples in Thailand. The rallying received ample media attention, with KABC channel 7 featuring the protest on its breaking news at 11:00 AM.

The protesters say Ven. Dhammajayo has been wrongly accused of money laundering and the receipt of stolen property. Four years ago, he had received a donation of 684 million Thai baht from Supachai Srisupa-aksorn, the chairman of the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC). Allegations against Wat Phra Dhammakaya arose when it was alleged that Srisupa-aksorn had embezzled more than 12 billion Thai baht from the credit union and checks from this offense had been traced back to Wat Phra Dhammakaya.

When devotees of Wat Phra Dhammakaya were made aware of this incident, they set up an emergency fund to return the equivalent of Srisupa-aksorn’s illegal donations to KCUC. They feared for the credit union’s cash flow, as it is one of the prominent financial institutions in Thailand. While KCUC initially filed for civil charges against Ven. Dhammajayo, they have since dropped all allegations and even issued a letter of appreciation to the temple supporters for their kindness.

Regardless, protesters claim the abbot has no ties to KCUC and stands wrongly accused of all allegations, since donations were made to him publicly, and there have been no attempts at the concealment of the money trail. There has been no substantial evidence to convict the abbot of any wrongdoing. In addition, all monetary donations are processed by the temple’s financial department, independent of the abbot’s management.

Protesters also argue that this case shows unjust discrimination against Ven. Dhammajayo. In Srisupa-aksorn’s embezzlement, he issued 878 checks to multiple entities. Yet, Ven. Dhammajayo is the sole person being prosecuted against. Aside from Srisupa-aksorn himself, none of the other recipients of the checks have been charged or convicted.

Although KCUC has dropped all charges against Ven. Dhammajayo and Wat Phra Dhammakaya, Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) is still looking to bring Ven. Dhammajayo to court. A request for an arrest warrant for the abbot in April was denied by the criminal court. A second arrest summons is scheduled for May 16, 2016.

Freedom Watch InternationalProtesters in Los Angeles seek justice for Ven. Dhammajayo

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  • Sue - May 29, 2016 reply

    I have followed this particular case since the beginning and I had to admit that it’s one of the most unfair accusation I had ever witnessed. Money laundering and receipts of stolen goods shouldn’t even be considered in this case. The money were from donations which in no parts of the world the donors would be asked for the source of their donation. The donations then had been used for the construction of the temple so the trace of money is very clear. I have been to this temple for almost a decade and have witnessed many projects initiated by the abbot in order to create world peace. NOT ONLY I found the charges were rediculous, I also found the way DSI has treated the abbot was extremely demeaning. One should be regarded as innocent until proven guilty but the abbot was treated like a criminal by DSI from the beginning. How could we expect a fair trial then!

  • Buntoon Sucharitwongsanont - May 29, 2016 reply

    Please help and protect us.There is no justice in Thailand.

  • Wattanaporn M. - May 29, 2016 reply

    Ven. Dhammajayo is innocent. He was treated badly by DSI, officers of the Government.

  • Mary North - May 29, 2016 reply

    DSI has no evidence to arrest Ven.Dhammajoyo, and try to issue the arrrest warrant “without evidence”

    There are many time DSI leak on TV interviews that they have to arrest the monk no matter what. They also skipped the investigation step to rush the arrest warrant issuance.

    Ven. Dhammajayo has been working to spread innerpeace around the world for more than 45 years. He recieved 97 awards from 40 countries around the world this year for worldpeace activities.

    This is injustice.
    We can’t let injustice harm the innocent.

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