Thai hotline targets unruly monks
Misbehaving monks be warned.
Thai religious authorities said they have launched a 24-hour hotline for the public to report unruly acts by the clergy.
The move follows a cascade of high-profile scandals including reports of monks taking drugs and drinking.
In May, five defrocked abbots were charged with sexually abusing boys, AFP reported.
The National Office of Buddhism (NOB) said the idea for a hotline emerged after Thailand’s coup-making General Prayut Chan-ocha expressed concern over the image of Buddhism in the country.
“We have already set up a hotline to receive complaints from people if they see anything that endangers our religion,” the office’s Napparat Benjawattananant said on Wednesday.
“People can file a complaint if they see monks are involved in irreligious things. For example if they see fake monks collecting donations,” he added.
Last September, authorities seized nearly US$800,000 (S$1 million) worth of assets, including a Porsche and a Mercedes-Benz, from a monk who was defrocked for a controversial trip in a private jet.
The same monk was also accused of fathering a child by an underage girl a decade earlier.