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Date: 1/11/99

Publication: The Nation

Section: Politics

Complaint against Dhammakaya

A BUDDHIST group filed a complaint on Sunday with the Crime Suppression Division alleging that the embattled Wat Dhammakaya had violated the law by printing a calendar depicting monks improperly dressed.

The Dharma for Democracy group alleged that Wat Dhammakaya had violated Article 206 of the Criminal Code, which outlaws any action deemed insulting to any religion.

Prajin Thanangkorn, leader of the group, said the publication of pictures of monks not wearing saffron over the top was an attempt to damage the image of Buddhism.

Meanwhile at Wat Dhammakaya in Pathum Thani only about 15,000 followers came to pray and make donations, although the temple had sent circulars to some 70,000 followers to buy new amulets.

The temple has been criticised for urging followers to donate money at all costs despite the economic crisis.

Chuleeporn Chuangransi, a public-relations officer of the temple, appealed to the mass media on Sunday to be fair to the temple in their coverage.

Chuleeporn said the media might be misinformed so the temple was not angry about their ''unfounded'' reports.

''We would like to beg all newspapers not to report distorted news against us,'' Chuleeporn said.

The Nation

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