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Buddist meditation centre ‘Monk kills neighbour’

 A monk in charge of a Buddist meditation centre shot dead a man he had a long-standing argument with at the dhamma centre in Noen Maprang district on Monday morning.

Pol Lt Col Suparerk Chanmee, a Sai Yoi police investigator, said the shooting at Suthewadi Ratchathani Buddhist Meditation Centre in Wang Prong village was reported to police about 10am.

A police team, rescue workers and a doctor were quickly sent there.

Phra Sitthikorn Yankhrue, 41, the monk in charge of the centre, was waiting for them to arrive. He surrendered a shotgun to police and gave himself up.

Phadung Thongbo, 67, was lying dead on the ground with gunshot wounds.

A witness to the shooting, Suthewadi Ratchathani, 52, said that about three years ago she had invited Phra Sitthikorn, who was then at a temple in Uttaradit province, to come to Phitsanulok and head a meditation centre. She had faith in him to perform the task. 

She had donated the land for the meditation centre, which was on 27-rai planted in teak trees.

Ms Suthewadi said the dead man, Phadung, owned a block of land adjacent to the meditation centre and had a long running personal conflict with Phra Sitthikorn.

When she arrived at the centre on Monday morning with food for Phra Sitthokorm he was in a heated argument with Phadung. She saw the angry monk shoot Phadung with the shotgun, killing him on the spot.

Phra Sitthikorn was expelled from the monkhood by the local abbot and as a layman was then charged with murder.

Disrobed monk Sitthikorn Yankhrue, white shirt, re-enacts the murder of Phadung Thongbo at his former meditation centre in Noen Maprang district, Phitsanulok, on Monday. (Photo: Chinnawat Singha)

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