Thai Buddhist monks under scrutiny for indulgences

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Thailand’s national Buddhism body said Monday it is monitoring monks nationwide for any behavior that does not adhere “to Buddha’s teachings of simplicity and self-restraint.”

The announcement came after a YouTube video was posted showing Buddhist monks wearing designer clothing and flying on a private jet.

Office of National Buddhism Director-General Nopparat Benjawatananun said Monday said the Buddhist monks in the video were acting “inappropriately.”

“When Lord Buddha was alive, there wasn’t anything like this,” Mr. Nopparat told the Associated Press. “There were no cars, smartphones or cameras, so the rules were much simpler. While the monks need to keep themselves abreast of new knowledge, current events and technology, they are restrained to choose the appropriate tools.”

Monruedee Bantoengsuk, an administrative officer at Khantitham Temple in Sisaket province, confirmed to the AP that the monks on the private plane lived at the temple, but she refused to give details about the trip.

“We can explain this, but not now,” she said, adding that the abbot, who appeared in the video, is currently on a religious tour in France.

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