Driving monk in accident was flouting ban

Driving monk in accident was flouting ban

An accident on Monday has prompted a public reminder that monks in northern provinces are banned from driving under an existing regulation issued by the Northern Sangha Admistration.

The announcement by Chiang Mai Office of Buddhism director Monthian Khammee on Tuesday followed an incident on Monday, when a monk put a pickup in reverse gear by mistake and hit and damaged several  vehicles behind him.

The monk was identified as Phrakhru Pornchai Piyawanno, 56, the abbot of Wat Phra Phutthabat Siroy in tambon Saluang of Chiang Mai's Mae Rim district.

Mr Monthian said although the Supreme Sangha Council does not prohibit monks from driving, the Northern Sangha Administration has its own regulation, under which monks are not allowed to drive.

He said an investigation would find out if Phrakhru Pornchai had any reason to violate the driving ban. The monk would initially be served with a warning.

Mr Monthian said the monk would also pay for the damage from his own pocket, not with temple funds.

Sanit Kitikorn, chairman of the Saluang tambon administration organisation, said it was still not clear whether the monk was suffering from an illness that led him to make the mistake.

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