Officials to seize or search illegally-built buildings in Wat Dhammakaya

Pathum Thani provincial officials will have to seize or search illegally-built structures on the compound of Wat Dhammakaya as of January 27 after the end of a 30-day deadline given to the temple by authorities.

Pol Gen Srivara Rangsipromnakul, deputy commissioner-general of the Royal Thai Police, said Wednesday that officials had pasted up notices on the illegally-built structures giving the temple 30 days until January 27 to tear them down or officials will seize or search the structures or to force all people inside them to leave.

He maintained that it was the authority of the Pathum Thani governor to decide what action to be taken against the temple, taking into consideration the safety of people living in the illegally-built buildings.

Pol Gen Srivara also said police and officials of the Department of Special Investigation had recently found out that Dhammakaya had encroached on an 80-rai land plot in mangrove forest in Krabi in order to build a monastery. He added that officials would take back the land in question.

According to the police, there are altogether 308 cases pending against Dhammakaya, mostly concerning land encroachment and violations against building law.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)