SURIN – The Thai Monkhood has been tarnished by flurry of methamphetamine scandals lately. If there is a substance that contradicts Buddhism’s promotion of gentleness and moderation, it’s probably meth aka Yaba.
Lately inThailand, a 95 percent Buddhist nation, the press of late has been filled with accounts of monks busted for using and even selling speed tablets.
The latest case, reported in the Bangkok Post, involves two monks attempting to ditch 20 meth pills at a police checkpoint.
Police in Surin arrested a senior monk for illegal possession and use of methamphetamine.
Atikarnpranan Titpunyo, the abbot of Wat Pho Kaew Mongkol Neramit in Prasat district of Surin province, and Sorasak Suchato, a monk from Prakonchai district of Buri Ram province, were stopped at a police traffic check point. They were arrested after testing positive for the drug.
Drug paraphernalia and knives were found in their car and methamphetamine pills were found on the roadside near the checkpoint.
Phra Atikarnpranan at first denied the drugs were his but eventually confessed that he bought 20 pills for 6,800 baht from a dealer in Jomphra district. The two men admitted that they threw away the drugs after they saw the police.
They were charged with possession and use of methamphetamine and remain custody.
That’s nothing compared to the monk, profiled in the Thai-language paper Kom Chat Luk, arrested recently for dealing speed at his temple.
Both are outdone by the seven monks who, according to the Thai-language Daily News, scored 10 bottles of booze, 25 “perverse” video discs and a stash of speed and ice in preparation for a “drug party.” Yet another senior monk, when caught selling speed, claimed he needed the money to refurbish his temple.
Opium use is fading and cheap meth is well established as Southeast Asia’s hard drug of choice. It appears that even monks, among the most revered figures in Thai society, aren’t immune from the lure of this $6 high.