The National Office of Buddhism plans to prepare a blacklist of monks who were defrocked in order to prevent them from entering monkhood to exploit the yellow saffron, said Mr Booncherd Kittitharangkoon, director of the Office of the Secretary-General of the Sangha Supreme Council, on Wednesday.

Once the list is completed, the information will be put into a central databank. A monk who is going to ordain a man wishing to enter monkhood will be required to check the latter's background with the provincial Buddhism office which has a linkup with the central databank.

Mr Booncherd said it would take about 15 minutes to find out whether the man wishing to be ordained is qualified or not and if it is discovered that the latter was already defrocked, the police will be notified so legal action will be taken against him.

There are currently over 290,000 monks and about 60 novices and 39,883 temples throughout the country.

Associate Professor Preecha Permprasit, an expert on Buddhism, welcomed the plan to blacklist defrocked monks. He, however, suggested that monks who were defrocked by Buddhist temples abroad should also be listed in the central databank.

Monks can be defrocked for committing one of the four following offences: involvement in sexual relationship, theft, murder and claiming to possess supernatural powers.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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