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Thailand’s monks are put on diet and fitness regime amid ‘obesity time bomb’

by Philip Sherwell, The Telegraph, March 16, 2016

They are renowned for meditation and moderation, but more than half the country’s Buddhist monks are obese, according to new research

Bangkok, Thailand -- The early morning alms round by saffron-clad monks holding their donations bowls to collect food and drink is a familiar daily ritual in Thailand.

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Dhammakaya saga threatens to deepen feud in Thai Buddhism

By Panu Wongcha-um, Channel NewsAsia, 7 Mar 2016

The abbot and founder of the Dhammakaya sect, Dhammachayo, is currently under investigation for allegedly embezzling the temple’s donation money.

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Dhammakaya, the world’s fastest growing group within Buddhism, has more than 4,000 monks and claims to have millions of followers in Thailand and abroad. In recent months however, the sect has come under increasing scrutiny over a raft of issues.

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Myanmar: Dhamma schools lack funds

By Nay Aung, Myanmar Times, 3 February 2016

Yangon, Myanmar -- The Dhamma School Foundation says it aims to establish more than 9000 Buddhist Sunday schools over the next five years, nearly quadrupling the current number.

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Pailin monks launch prison outreach plan

by Khouth Sophak Chakrya, Phnom Penh Post, 19 January 2016

Phnom Penh, Cambodia -- Pailin province’s chief monk, along with other monks, yesterday visited the Pailin Provincial Prison to “educate” the prisoners through dialogue.

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In Phuket, Thailand, a Buddhist temple can be more relaxing than the beach

by Rosemary McClure, Los Anegeles Times, March 5, 2016

Phuket, Thailand -- A funny thing happened on my way to a beach in Phuket (poo-KET). I came upon the annual Vegetarian Festival, a nine-day Chinese celebration thought to bestow good fortune.

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Global Buddhist monks call for tackling climate change

ANI, March 4, 2016

Ayutthaya, Thailand -- Buddhist monks from around the world gathered at Thailand's ancient Ayutthaya city on Thursday for the last day of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) during which they laid emphasis on actions to tackle climate change.

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Tense times for Thai junta, Buddhist clergy

by Tan Hui Yee, The Straits Times, Feb 25, 2016

Row over appointment of kingdom's most senior monk causing unrest

Bangkok, Thailand -- It is not often you see a monk performing a headlock, much less on a soldier. But that's exactly what happened last week, when soldiers confronted monks who had gathered in a Buddhist park to pressure the Thai military government to speed up their appointment of the most senior monk in the kingdom.

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Most want Supreme Patriarch appointment deferred

The Bangkok Post, Feb 28, 2016

Bangkok, Thailand -- Most people believe the prime minister should defer a proposal for His Majesty the King to appoint the new Supreme Patriarch until conflicts in monastic circles are resolved, according to an opinion survey by the National Institute of Development Administration or Nida Poll.

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Thailand: Debate ordered for Buddhism row

The Bangkok Post, Feb 18, 2016

PM promises to ease tensions over top monk

Bangkok, Thailand -- Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has promised to hold a formal debate over the appointment of a new supreme patriarch to hose down the volatile situation.

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Thailand: Ex-official of Religion leads legal charge against Buddhist bodies

The Bangkok Post, 12 Feb 2016

Bangkok, Thailand -- Paiboon Nititawan, ex-chairman of the defunct National Reform Council committee on religious affairs, is pursuing legal action against the Sangha Supreme Council (SSC) and the National Office of Buddhism (NOB) after the two Buddhist bodies refused to defrock a controversial monk.

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