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Late-Night Sightseeing for Defrocked Monk

Late-Night Sightseeing for Defrocked Monk

A Buddhist monk was defrocked after being caught by concerned residents driving around in a van and enjoying seaside views at Na Jomtien Beach in Sattahip. At 12:10 AM today, Mr. Udom Suwankana, head of Na Jomtien Village 1, along with his assistants, inspected the beach area in front of the Khao Tom Setthi restaurant following reports from residents about a monk seen driving an old yellow Isuzu van and seemingly enjoying the beach view. The residents questioned whether the man was genuinely a monk and if his behavior was appropriate.

Upon arrival, authorities found the monk, identified as 76-year-old Luang Ta Noo Thi Thinrat, sitting in the driver’s seat wearing orange monk attire. When asked to produce his current monk certificate, he could only present an old one issued in 1991 from Wat Jomsri in Udon Thani province. Inside the van, authorities discovered scattered alms food, some of which was rotten, a pile of excrement, and several casual clothes, which the monk claimed belonged to his disabled son.

Luang Ta Noo Thi explained that he had driven from his residence in Nakhon Ratchasima province to Sattahip to take his disabled son (who was not present at the scene) to the beach. He asserted that no police officers had questioned him at checkpoints because they knew him well. He stated that he had been ordained because he was too old to do anything else, and now that he had been defrocked, he was unsure of his next steps and planned to drive back to his hometown.

Authorities concluded that while driving is not a serious offense for a monk, the Supreme Sangha Council prohibits monks from driving cars. They added that Luang Ta Noo Thi’s claim of driving to enjoy the beach at night also damaged the image of Buddhist monks. Furthermore, he had no clear affiliation with any temple and lacked a current monk certificate.

Consequently, the monks accompanying the authorities decided to defrock Luang Ta Noo Thi before allowing him to drive back home. According to local media reports, Luang Ta Noo Thi had been accused in the past of using animals such as dogs, goats, and donkeys to pull carts to solicit alms. This behavior led to multiple charges of animal cruelty and his previous disrobing.

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