Eight Chiang Mai monks were arrested, fined and suspended after police broke up their alcohol-infused barbecue party.
Each of the senior monks tested positive for alcohol use and admitted to drinking beer with their “moo kata” grilled pork Aug. 30 at a Pan Sao Temple in Muang District. Each were fined 3,500 baht, sentenced to a 15-day suspended jail term and a year’s probation.
Four of the clerics arrested were abbots at various Muang District temples: Palad Suradej Saipaeyeang, 34, of Wat Yang Kwang, Manoonthammasartputtakorn Wimutiyarnkul, 41, of Wat Huafai, Atittanat Panyainkaew, 34, of Wat Ban Ping and Panukorn Kumpok, 42, of Wat Pansao.
Also arrested were Sahakan Somsak, 25, Anon Panyapatoyanonprathum, 35, Taksin Srithi, 36, and Jaratravee Rachasombat, 23.
Each were fined 1,000 baht for violating the Emergency Decree’s prohibitions against gatherings of more than five people, were given suspended jail terms and probation.
They additionally were fined another 2,500 baht each for drinking in a Buddhist house of worship – in front of a Buddha statue, in fact.
While all walked away from the police station, more serious repercussions may await them from the Sangha. Jureerat Jaikang, director of the Chiang Mai Office of Buddhism said all four monks were suspended and an investigation launched into the incident.
Jureerat said a prison term would require all eight monks to b disrobed. Given that the sentences were suspended, final disposition is still being debated.
This story appeared in the Chiang Mai Mail, a Bangkok Herald partner.