The high life: Private-jet flying, aviator-wearing Buddhist monks captured on video
Monday 17 June 2013
A group of Buddhist monks have become the subject of complaints after videos of them on a private jet, wearing aviators and listening to personal headphones emerged on Youtube.
The video shows the monks listening to headsets, carrying luxury travel bags and wearing sunglasses as the private jet they are occupying prepares to land. Thailand's national Buddhism body said it will now be monitoring monks nationwide, who are expected to live simple lives according to the teachings of Buddha. This includes possessing unnecessary valuable items or living lavish lifestyles.
Nopparat Benjawatananun, the director general of the National Office of Buddhism, said on Monday that the agency had warned the monks from a monastery in Thailand's north-east not to repeat the behaviour witnessed in the video.
This is not the first time in recent months that the actions of Buddhist monks have come into question. Last year, approximately 300 monks and novices in Thailand were reprimanded over their misconduct, which ranged from alcohol consumption to having sex with women and extortion. The agency also received complaints about monks driving cars, as well as scams and false claims of black magic by monks.
Nopparat said the monks in the video were acting "inappropriately, not composed and not adhering to Buddha's teachings of simplicity and self-restraint".
Monruedee Bantoengsuk, an administrative officer at Khantitham temple in Sisaket province, confirmed that the monks on the private plane lived at the temple but refused to give details about the trip.
"We can explain this, but not now," she said, adding that the abbot who appeared in the video is currently on a religious tour in France.
Nopparat said: "When Lord Buddha was alive, there wasn't anything like this. There were no cars, smartphones or cameras, so the rules were much simpler.
"While the monks need to keep themselves abreast of new knowledge, current events and technology, they are restrained to choose the appropriate tools."
He said one way to prevent the monks from misbehaving was for followers not to spoil them with valuable objects or vices. "In many cases, it was the followers who gave the monks the luxury. Some bought them sports cars. This is by no means necessary."
Additional reporting: AP
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 'Do not give them a reason': Baltimore man divides police and rioters in hope of avoiding violence
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
Bali Nine executions: Indonesia confirms killings of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will go ahead
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
£40000 - £48000 per annum + 10% bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Engin...
£20000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£11 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To join a team working with a female in her ...
£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has over 30 years ...