Thai king revokes ranks of senior monks

BANGKOK • Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn revoked the monastic ranks of seven senior Buddhist monks yesterday following police raids at temples last week that put some monks behind bars.

Three of the monks who had their monastic titles revoked in an announcement published in the Royal Gazette are from the Sangha Supreme Council, Thailand's governing body of Buddhist monks.

Thailand's military government has clamped down on illegal financial dealings by Buddhist temples as part of a campaign to clean up Buddhism's image tarnished by money and sex scandals involving monks.

Of the seven senior monks whose rank was revoked, four were arrested during police raids at several Buddhist temples last week, in the year's biggest such operation.

Following their arrests, the four monks and one other senior monk were stripped of their monkhood. The four are now in jail awaiting trial.

Thailand's temples, which earn billions of dollars every year from donations, have been embroiled in scandals ranging from murder, sex and drugs to shady financial dealings.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2018, with the headline 'Thai king revokes ranks of senior monks'. Print Edition | Subscribe