A fight between two monks in Thailand resulted in one of them dying.
Khlong Larn Police Station officers responded to Wat Mai Thong Chai Temple in the central province of Kamphaeng Phet, where they discovered Kumart Absuwan, 64, unconscious on the floor with a bloody and bruised face on Tuesday afternoon.
Anake Kwanyuen, a 49-year-old monk of the same temple, surrendered himself to the police. He admitted to attacking Kumart out of anger but said he had no intention of killing him.
Witnesses of the incident told police that the two monks have always quarreled with each other. The abbot of the temple said that both monks struggled with mental health problems.
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On the day of the incident, Anake reportedly made fun of Kumart, which led to a fight that was more serious than their regular quarrels.
Anake reportedly grabbed a tiffin carrier and smashed it on the older monk’s head. Kumart, who was unable to fight back, was kicked and knocked to the ground.
Pisit Sanguankaew, the superintendent of Khlong Larn Police Station, said that Anake was ordered to leave the monkhood. He was charged with attacking an individual, causing death. He faces a penalty of up to two years of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 4,000 baht (approximately $113).
Over the past year, there have been several monastic scandals in Thailand involving Buddhist monks who engage in criminal acts that violate their monastic vows, including cases of rape, substance abuse, embezzlement and murder.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha previously ordered the National Office of Buddhism in May to strengthen the supervision at monasteries.
“The main duty of the monks is to maintain and propagate the teachings of the Buddha as well as studying Buddhist doctrines,” Prayut’s spokesperson reportedly said. “The Prime Minister ordered the [government agency] to coordinate closely with communities of monks in all areas to monitor the monks’ behaviors and discipline in order to regain people’s trust and make sure Thai Buddhism will prosper once again.”