Dhammajayo stripped of monastic rank

Dhammajayo stripped of monastic rank

Phra Dhammajayo: Stripped of monastic titles, but he remains a monk. (File photo)
Phra Dhammajayo: Stripped of monastic titles, but he remains a monk. (File photo)

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun has stripped the monastic rank of Phra Dhammajayo, the 'Royal Gazette' said on Sunday.

The symbolic step of removing the monastic rank came after he refused to appear to answer legal charges, following a two-week siege by thousands of military and police personnel.

The Royal Gazette article said His Majesty had agreed to the government's request to demote Phra Dhammajayo because he had fled from the charges against him.

"Thus he does not deserve to hold his monastic rank any longer," the document said.

The move has not defrocked the founder of the Dhammakaya sect. Only the Supreme Sangha Council can take that step. But he no longer has or can use the title Phra Thepyan Mahamuni Sri Dhamma Kosol.

The Dhammakaya temple declined to comment on the measure.

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