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Friday, 20 October, 2000, 17:29 GMT
Karaoke monk booted out
monks
Monks are not allowed to drink alcohol of have sex
An abbot at a Thai temple has been ordered to leave the monkhood in disgrace after being caught carousing with women in a karaoke bar.

Karaoke sign bangkok
The abbot was said to be fond of karaoke
Phra Pativetviset, from the Bangkok temple, Wat Sriboonruang, was banished after being captured on film during a police raid on the club last weekend.

Reports said the abbot had donned a wig, sunglasses and normal clothes for the clandestine visit to the bar in his home province of Ang Thong.

But he was still identified when footage of the raid was screened as part of a television news report.

Pativetviset has protested his innocence, but his superiors have reportedly told him to leave temple life or face being defrocked.

Partying

The Bangkok Post said a pile of clothes, a wig and a bottle of perfume had been found near a temple in Ang Thong.

Witnesses also said the man at the bar had exactly the same birth mark on his ear as Pativetviset.

Buddhist monks are forbidden to drink alcohol or patronise entertainment venues.

But reports said Pativetviset was a well-known party-goer in his home province where he spent freely at entertainment venues.

The Religious Affairs Department said the authorities may push for criminal proceedings against the abbot if it is found he squandered temple funds on partying.

Mercedes

In recent years, Buddhist monks have been involved in a number of scandals in Thailand and have been accused of crimes including child sexual abuse and murder.

Last month Thailand's abbots censured a Buddhist monk at another Bangkok temple after he amassed a vast collection of luxury cars using disciples' donations.

And in another scandal, police tests on monks at a temple in Nakhon Sawan province appeared to show a number had taken drugs.

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See also:

13 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Thai monk censured over Mercs
09 May 00 | Asia-Pacific
Boom in Buddhist websites
25 Aug 99 | Asia-Pacific
Thai abbot surrenders
07 Apr 98 | Asia-Pacific
Buddhism 'in decline'
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