BANGKOK – Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha addressing Thailand on national television this week, reminded Thai’s to follow the teachings of the Lord Buddha and abstain from every form of evil.
His comments come after leading his cabinet members to pay a courtesy call on His Holiness Somdet Phra Arayawongsakhatayan. Relayed the message from the newly-appointed supreme patriarch, saying regardless of their beliefs people should exercise self-control and abstain from all appearances of evil.
He added that followers of Buddhism must be ashamed of all their sins and inappropriate conduct. Without shame, humans are tempted to keep doing bad things.
In addition, Gen Prayut said the current administration is determined to serve the nation and bring happiness to the people, in response to the wishes of the late monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who ruled with righteousness and whose contributions to his subjects were incomparable.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha clarified on Friday that his use of Section 44 to declare Wat Dhammakaya a “restricted zone” was meant to enable officials to perform their duty to search the temple and not meant for the arrest of Phra Dhammachayo, the former abbot of the temple.
Gen Prayut took effective control of Wat Phra Dhammakaya with Section 44 decree – opening the temple to immediate assault. A three-page Article 44 order signed by Gen Prayut authorises virtually any police or military action against Wat Phra Dhammakaya.
It said that Article 44 of the interim constitution was being used to impose control on the monastery because it had resisted law enforcement efforts.
The founder of the Dhammakaya religious sect, who calls himself Phra Dhammajayo, is wanted on several outstanding warrants for charges including embezzlement, money laundering and land encroachment by the temple and its other businesses in the provinces.
Article 44 grants absolute power to Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha in his capacity as the head of the National Council for Peace and Order. It is an absolute authority in ordering and retraining people or performing any act, whether legislative, executive or judicial.