(22 June) The woman who
owned the land where the controversial wealthy monk has built his monastery says she is now being
threatened by his spiritual followers after she told the press she might recall the land rights
because she is disillusioned with the monk′s behavior.
Previously, Ms. Lon Manas, 68, a
resident of Sisaket province, has told the reporters that she donated the land to Luang Pu
Nen Kam Chattiko around 10 years ago, on the condition that Luang Pu Nen Kam would build a temple
and register it properly with the Office of National Buddhism (ONAB). However, the temple remains a
privately-operated one, and not under jurisdiction of the Buddhist authorities.
She had said
yesterday (21 June) she initially donated the land because she wanted to make good karma and
insisted that the temple be registered properly out of fear that an unregistered one will become
breeding ground for financial corruption.
Now, she fears that it is exactly what′s
happening, given the news about Luang Pu′s display of immense wealth that has been reported on the
media recently, so she expressed her intention to have the land taken back from Luang Pu Nen Kam and
given to some other monk for construction of a properly registered temple.
After the interview was published by many news agencies,
including the daily edition of Khaosod, a group of spiritual followers of the monk vehemently
denied the story. One of them is Mr. Pattaradech Sopanpanich, a businessman, who went on a popular talk show on
Channel 3 and alleged that the report published by Khaosod a is fabricated one.
Mr. Pattaradech has told the talk show host Mr. Sorayut Sutasanachinda that the reporters
pressed the matter on Ms. Lon and invented the story themselves.
Today, Ms. Lon told
our correspondent that she has received phone calls from many supporters of Luang Pu Nen Kam – who
is believed to command a considerable following among some businessmen and police officers –
threatening her that she might be abducted or even killed for telling the media about the plan to
evict the monk.
According to Ms. Lon, a woman who claimed to be a supporter of Luang Pu Nen Kam
also appeared at her residence and shouting insults at her. The woman also reportedly told Ms. Lon
to recant her story in front of the press, but she refused to do so. Ms. Lon said her family
eventually told the woman to leave the house.
Pol.Col. Phuchong Wanna, commissioner of local police, said he has
dispatched some police officers to protect Ms. Lon from any other potential intruder.
At the press conference in Pathumthani
province, a group of Luang Pu Nen Kam′s supporters denied the allegation that they have intimidated
Ms. Lon. Ms. Naruedee Piraroj, representative of the group, said she was the one who visited Ms. Lon
at her house. According to Ms. Naruedee, she was there to ask Ms. Lon whether she had talked to the
reporters about her intention to evict Luang Pu from the land.
She told me she did not, so I
beg her to clarify the story, but she told me she is feeling ill so she cannot talk to the press
right. I left shortly after that. I did not intimidate her in any way, Ms. Naruedee insisted.
Mr. Virord Chaipannana, director of ONAB′s
chapter in Sisaket, said that he believed Ms. Lon could take the matter to the court if she feels
that the land she donated to the monk was not being used in the manner both parties have initially