Sunday, January 25, 2015   

Behavior hotline to discipline Thai monks
(06-18 19:46)

Misbehaving monks face censure after Thai religious authorities said they had launched a 24-hour hotline for the public to report unruly acts by Buddhist bad boys.
The move follows a cascade of high-profile scandals ranging from reports of monks taking drugs and drinking, to a case in May of five defrocked abbots charged with sexually abusing boys.
The National Office of Buddhism said the idea for a hotline emerged after Thailand's coup-making General Prayut Chan-O-Cha expressed concern over the image of Buddhism, a religion that counts an estimated 95 percent of its 67 million population as devotees.
Last September, authorities seized nearly US$800,000 worth of assets, including a Porsche and a Mercedes-Benz, from a monk who was defrocked for a controversial trip in a private jet and who was also accused of fathering a child by an underage girl a decade earlier.
''There have been a lot of cases regarding bad behaviour related to monks, so we just want to fix this problem,'' said Thai junta spokesman Werachon Sukondhapatipak.--AFP   
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