Hunt for monk continues – railway head, board sacked
8 days pass, still no sight of monk
ONE week after the search for Phra Dhammajayo began, the join-force of DSI, police and soldiers still couldn’t find or even be certain of the former abbot’s whereabouts.
The idea of searching thoroughly inside Wat Phra Dhammakaya to look for Phra Dhammajayo currently seemed farfetched as authorities still could not get back into the temple after the second search ended in vain.
The temple supporters, including the alleged monks and disciples, since then blocked all the entrances to the temple and forbid the authorities from entering despite fruitless negotiation attempts. Tin sheets and concrete pipes were used as obstacles after the move to enter the temple resulted in confrontation and wrangle, the revocation of Section 44 order was among their demands.
PM Prayut Chan-o-cha told the media that he has no intention of revoking the order and said the officers were permitted to approach the situation with measures growing from light to heavy. Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan also told the media that the operation would go on until the wanted monk is found.
Number of arrest warrant for fugitive monk Phra Dhammajayo has piled up to 13 so far.
Top: Wat Phra Dhammakaya supporters, including the alleged monks and disciples, block an entrance to the temple. Photo: Nationmultimedia.com
SRT governor, board ordered off the train
PRIME Minister/Chief of the National council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Prayut Chan-o-cha used power under Section 44 to fire State Railway of Thailand (SRT) governor Wuthichart Kalyanamitra (right in the picture) and its entire board past Thursday, citing the intention to improve state enterprise performance and facilitate national reform.
The replacement (acting) governor is deputy director-general of the Highways Department Anont Luangboriboon. The new board chairman is chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission Voravidh Champeeratana.
Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said the new board and governor should speed up the delayed work, referring to five sections of double-track railway with a combined distance of 668 kilometers worth 95.8 billion baht.
The new board members are: deputy director-general of the Highways Department Anont Luangboriboon; fiscal and financial adviser of the Comptroller General’s Department Chunhachit Sungmai; vice chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries Bowon Vongsinudom; chief wholesale banking officer of TMB bank Piti Tantakasem; chief adviser to the navy Adm Thaweechai Boonya-ananta; a director of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority Gp Capt Thanakorn Pheeraphan; auditor of the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation Aunchalee Tengpratip; and deputy permanent secretary for finance Amnuay Preemonwong.
Mr Wuthichart will become an official attached to the PM’s Office.
Second inset: Premier Prayut Chan-o-cha firmly shook up the State Railway of Thailand management. Photo: Bangkokpost.com
Council opposes textbooks lending idea
THE idea belongs to the Education Ministry. It plans to practice the idea at primary and secondary levels to save money and obviously, the Council for Thai Private Education didn’t think so.
Private Education Council president Jirapan Pimpan said no student wants to learn from books in old used conditions. “Students, especially at the primary level, usually draw things on their textbooks such as funny notes and no one can stop them because it’s their nature. So, if we lend them textbooks, the books will definitely be in bad condition when they are returned to school at the end of the year,” Ms Jirapan said.
She also said that the ministry had tried the idea before and it did not work so the private schools prefer the way it has been done, a subsidy.
Education Minister Teerakiat Chareonsettasin said Obec (Office of Basic Education Commission) could save up to 1 billion baht with the proposed idea which should help increase students’ responsibility to care and share textbooks. However, Obec will still give away exercise books to all students as they cannot be reused.
Second inset: Thai students studying in a classroom. Photo: Manager.co.th
By Piboon Awasdaruharote