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Thai police search of Buddhist temple fails to turn up wanted monk

BANGKOK (Reuters) Thai security forces filed past chanting monks on Thursday to search the country biggest Buddhist temple for an influential former abbot accused of money laundering, but failed to find him.

Buddhist monks chant inside Dhammakaya temple while police block access to the place in Pathum Thani province, Thailand February 16, 2017. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom

With political parties buy canada goose jacket and many activists silenced since a coup in Canada Goose Coats On Sale 2014, the Canada Goose Parka scandal hit Dhammakaya Temple is a rare institution in defying the junta, which until now trod warily in confronting a group that claims millions of Canada Goose Jackets followers.

Police went in hours after Prime Minister Prayuth Chan canada goose replica ocha used a security measure that critics dub dictator canada goose deals law to give forces a free hand to arrest, search, Canada Goose sale demolish or do anything else they see fit to apprehend Phra Dhammachayo.

After Thursday failure canada goose to find the monk, police said they would continue on Friday and the blockade canada goose coats would continue.

The buy canada goose jacket cheap former abbot, 72, faces charges of conspiracy to launder money and receive stolen goods, as well as taking over land unlawfully to build meditation centers.

was one of the people who donated to have this temple built so I here to canada goose clearance sale protect it, she said.

The controversy over the abbot partly reflects more Canada Goose Outlet than a decade of divisive politics in Thailand, which 2018 canada goose outlet has penetrated all aspects of life including the religion followed by some 95 percent of Thais.

Although the temple has no overt political affiliation, the abbot is widely believed to have had links with populist former canada goose coats on sale prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, overthrown in 2006.

Prayuth became leader after toppling a government led by Thaksin sister in 2014.

A man speaks to policemen as they block cheap Canada Goose access to the gate of Dhammakaya temple in Pathum Thani province, Thailand February 16, 2017. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom

About 3,000 black clad police deployed around the temple, with hundreds entering the compound, which, at canada goose store 1,000 acres (400 hectares), is nearly 10 times the size of Vatican City.

CHANTING canada goose black friday sale Police encountered monks in saffron robes, chanting and frequently blocking their way. Several attempts to question the abbot canada goose outlet store locations have failed over the past year and this was the first Canada Goose online time police had managed to search the temple.

A police spokesman, Woranan Silam, said the search would continue cheap Canada Goose Jackets on Friday, after having canada goose outlet toronto factory covered about 15 percent to 20 percent of the grounds on Thursday.

Slideshow (8 Images)

The monks were willing to cooperate, the temple head of public relations told Reuters.

I cannot force praying devotees to make way for them, Phra Sanitwong Wuttiwangso said.

He told Reuters on Wednesday the abbot had not been seen since May and had not gone to the police because he was gravely ill.

The Dhammakaya Temple differs from traditional temples not only in its size and its flying saucer shaped golden stupa.

A brash approach to winning followers it has its own television station jars on conservatives. They say it exploits its followers and uses religion to make money. It says it is as committed to canada goose clearance Buddhist values as they are.

The new move against topcanadagoose the temple comes days after the appointment of a new supreme patriarch to head Thailand 300,000 monks.

Somdet Phra Maha Muniwong, from the most austere of two Thai canadian goose jacket Buddhist fraternities, was chosen by the king after a change in the law allowed him to ignore the choice of Canada Goose Online a religious council, which had recommended a monk with links to Dhammakaya.

Aditional reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Writing by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Editing by Matthew Tostevin and Clarence Fernandez.

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