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Buddhist monks are supposed to live peaceful lives, setting an example for the ordinary people they serve. Thus, residents living around a temple have reacted angrily to a dispute involving monks there. 

Phra Phit Papassaro, 26, sweeps the ground at Wat Bang Khun Thian Nok in the Chom Thong area. He is accused of assaulting and threatening another monk at the same temple after an argument over an overlapping morning’s alms route. Phra Phit Papassaro denies the charge. SOMCHAI POOMLARD.

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Squabbling monks

Buddhist monks are supposed to live peaceful lives, setting an example for the ordinary people they serve.

Thus, residents living around Wat Bang Khun Thian Nok in Chom Thong district have reacted angrily to a row involving monks there.

The dispute came to light on Wednesday when Phra Jirawat Pasanno, 44, filed a complaint with the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) against two other monks from the same temple.

Phra Jirawat accused Phra Auan, 70, and Phra Phit Papassaro, or Phra Jo, 26 of assaulting him and threatening him with a gun after an argument over their overlapping alms routes.

Phra Jirawat said the two monks wanted to collect morning alms on the same route as he regularly followed. He claimed he was punched in the face by the two monks after returning from his alms round last Tuesday.

The monk said laymen on the route knew he was in poor physical health so they often made merit by giving money to him – 300-600 baht every day and up to 1,000 baht on Buddhist holy days.

Yesterday Phra Auan and Phra Jo met with police and denied the accusations.

Phra Jo told the Bangkok Post that there was no dispute over the morning alms route as claimed by Phra Jirawat.

He said he normally collected alms in a different area near where his family house was located. Phra Auan had not left the temple to collect alms for five years because of old age.

Meanwhile, local residents are unhappy.

Suthep Thongsai, a 54-year-old motorcycle taxi driver, said the row was “unacceptable and improper.

“It hurts the feelings of Buddhists,” he said.

A 67-year-old resident who did not want to be named said she felt the squabbling monks were tarnishing the image of Buddhism.

Adapted from a story by Lamphai Intathep in today’s Bangkok Post.

accused – to be said to have done something wrong or committed a crime ถูกกล่าวหา
assault – to attack someone violently  ทำร้ายร่างกาย
threaten – to say that you might do something bad or harmful, especially in order to make someone do something  ขู่เข็ญ คุกคาม ทำให้กลัว
argument – a conversation or discussion in which two or more people disagree, often angrily การโต้แย้ง, การแย้ง, การโต้เถียง
overlapping – (of areas of land) covering parts of each other  ที่คาบเกี่ยวกัน
alms – food, money, and other items that are given to Buddhist monks;  money, clothes and food that are given to poor people ของทำบุญ ของบริจาค
route – the roads or path used to go from one place to another เส้นทาง
deny – to say that you did not do something that someone has accused you of doing ปฏิเสธ
charge – an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime ข้อหา
squabbling – arguing over something, especially something that is not important ทะเลาะกัน, โต้เถียงกัน
ordinary – not unusual or different in any way ธรรมดา
residents – people who live in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
react – to behave in a particular way because of something that is happening around you or something that someone is doing to you ตอบสนอง, เกิดปฏิกิริยา
row – a serious disagreement about an issue between people, organisations or countries  การทะเลาะวิวาท
dispute – a serious disagreement การโต้เถียง, ความขัดแย้ง
come to light – to be revealed; to make known  ถูกเปิดเผยออกมา
file a complaint –to make an official statement that someone has done something wrong ยื่นคำร้อง
suppression – stopping an activity from happening, in this case, criminal activity  การปราบปราม
punch – to hit someone/something hard with a fist (= closed hand) ชก, ต่อย
layman – a person who is a member of a Church but is not a priest or member of the clergy สามัญชน
merit – the quality of being good and of deserving praise, reward or admiration บุญ, คุณความดี, คุณค่า
make merit – to do good things according to religious beliefs ทำบุญ
located – where something is ตั้งอยู่
meanwhile – at the same time ในเวลาเดียวกัน
improper – not suited or appropriate to the situation ไม่เหมาะสม ไม่สมควร
tarnish – to spoil; to make people have a worse opinion than they did before ทำให้เสื่อมเสีย
image – an opinion that people have about someone or something ภาพลักษณ์

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