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Former monk Mitsuo to tell all

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The mystery behind why Mitsuo Shibahashi, formerly known as Phra Mitsuo Gavesako, left the monkhood after almost 40 years should be cleared next Tuesday with the launching of two new books. 

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Phra Mitsuo Gavesako, former abbot of Kanchanaburi's Wat Pa Sunantawararam, in a photo taken in 2011. APICHART JINAKUL

Married ex-monk to explain

The mystery behind why Mitsuo Shibahashi, formerly known as Phra Mitsuo Gavesako, left the monkhood after almost 40 years should be cleared next Tuesday with the launching of two new books.

Suttirat: Accused of impropriety

At the launch, the former monk and Suttirat Muttamara, his wife, will open up to the media for the first time about their relationship.

The two pocketbooks are said to address rumours and speculation that have circulated after his unexpected decision, including one that said he was drugged by his then would-be wife.

The two books are entitled Kwam Nai Jai Ajarn Mitsuo  (Message from the Heart of Phra Mitsuo) and Bot Tes Wan Sud Thai Nai Phet Banpachit (The Last Sermon in the Saffron Robe)

As a former abbot of the renowned Suwandavanaram forest monastery in Kanchanaburi province, Mr Shibahashi, 62, caused a major stir when he quietly left the monkhood four months ago.

The news came as a shock to his many followers, most of whom did not expect him to leave the monkhood after serving Buddhism for more than 38 years.

A few weeks later, he married Ms Suttirat in his native Japan.

During that time, Ms Suttirat was often accused of having an inappropriate relationship with the former monk.

Adapted from a story by Arusa Pisuthipan in today's Bangkok Post

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