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Thai king strips fugitive Buddhist monk of his rank as followers continue to defy military government

South China Morning Post, 6 March, 2017

Phra Dhammachayo is accused of money laundering but has not turned himself in and police say his followers have hampered the search
Bangkok, Thailand
-- The former Buddhist abbot at the heart of a stand-off with authorities at Thailand’s biggest temple has been stripped of his monastic rank by the king, the military government said on Sunday.

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Making Thai Buddhism relevant again

by Sanitsuda Ekachai, Bangkok Post, March 2, 2017

Bangkok, Thailand -- So the Dhammakaya Temple is a cult. So its leader reportedly claims to be a doomsday saviour who takes rich donors on a tour to heaven to see the Buddha. So it teaches its followers to buy premium spaces in heaven by donating to the temple. So its doctrine on the permanence of self is against Buddhism. So what?

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Myanmar Buddhists Decry Thai Government's Temple Crackdown

By Wa Lone, Reuters, Feb. 24, 2017

YANGON, Myanmar -- Around 100 Buddhist monks and nationalists in Myanmar staged a protest against Thailand on Friday, denouncing the government of the neighboring country for its actions against a temple that has defied orders to hand over a wanted monk.

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Buddhist signs point wrong way

by ANDREW BIGGS, The Bangkok Post, 12 Feb 2017

Thought police are doing Thailand's religion no favours with their intrusive false advertising aimed at tourists
Bangkok, Thailand
-- The billboard rises, like a Buddhist temple, up ahead on the right-hand side of the airport highway.

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The politics of Thailand's Buddhist Supreme Patriarch

By Panu Wongcha-um, Channel NewsAsia, 12 Feb 2017

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thailand will soon welcome a new Supreme Patriarch. Somdet Phra Maha Muniwong, 89, was appointed last week by King Maha Vajiralongkorn and will be officially installed in a ceremony in Bangkok on Sunday (Feb 12).

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Pagoda problems: the decline of Buddhism in Cambodia

By Euan Black, Southeast Asia Globe, February 1, 2017

As Cambodia modernises and sex and drug scandals rock the monkhood, the famed saffron robes no longer command the respect they once did
Phnom Penh, Cambosia
-- In 1959, May Mayko Ebihara became the first American to write an anthropological dissertation on Cambodian village life. Published in two volumes nearly a decade later, Svay: A Khmer Village in Cambodia depicted a pre-modern agricultural idyll governed by family and religion, in which monks were seen as the “living embodiments and spiritual generators of Buddhism”.

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New acting president at Singapore Buddhist Lodge

by Leong Weng Kam, Straits Times, Jan 31, 2017

Tan Lee Huak aims to strengthen confidence of devotees and promote Buddhist teachings
Singapore
-- Since last Friday night, more than 20,000 devotees have visited the Singapore Buddhist Lodge in Kim Yam Road, as they do every Chinese New Year, to give offerings, exchange greetings and pay respects to their ancestors.

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Buddhist office urges ex-abbot to surrender

by Sanitsuda Ekachai, The Bangkok Post, Jan 19, 2017

Bangkok, Thailand -- The National Office of Buddhism (NOB) is attempting to encourage Phra Dhammajayo, the embattled former abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, to turn himself in to officials in the money laundering case associated with the multi-billion-baht Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative embezzlement scandal.

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Female monks barred from paying respects

by Sanitsuda Ekachai, The Bangkok Post, Jan 11, 2017

Bangkok, Thailand -- If you think any Thai can pay respects to the late revered monarch, you will be in for an unpleasant surprise.

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Religion Minister Questioned Over Efforts to Promote Buddhism

by Khy Sovuthy, Cambodia Daily, January 11, 2017

Phnom Penh, Cambodia -- The Minister of Cults and Religion was questioned by a National Assembly commission on Tuesday over efforts to promote Buddhism in the country and an assortment of other concerns affecting the religion, according to the opposition lawmaker who summoned him.

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