Temple left empty after monks fail drug tests


A BUDDHIST temple in central Thailand has been left without monks after all its holy men failed drug tests and were defrocked, a local official said.

Four monks, including an abbot, at a temple in Phetchabun province’s Bung Sam Phan district tested positive for methamphetamine on Monday, district official Boonlert Thintapthai said yesterday.

The monks had been sent to a health clinic to undergo drug rehabilitation, the official said.

“The temple is now empty of monks and nearby villagers are concerned that they cannot do any merit-making,” he said.

Merit-making involves worshippers donating food to monks as a good deed.

Boonlert said more monks would be sent to the temple to let villagers practise their religious obligations.

Thailand is a major transit country for methamphetamine flooding in from Myanmar’s troubled Shan state via Laos, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. — AFP

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