THAILAND: The Royal Thai Police has agreed to help the National Office of Buddhism (NOB) block people with criminal records from being ordained.
Source: Police to vet novice monks
In a letter sent to the NOB, national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda said the RTP has put in place guidelines for its officers to run background checks on applicants seeking to join the monkhood.
In Bangkok, the NOB is advised to send the applicants’ ID numbers to the police Criminal Records Division (CRD) for background checks.
In the provinces, details of those seeking ordination are to be sent to police forensic offices for further submission to the CRD.
The results will be sent back to the NOB or its provincial offices within 15 days, free of charge. The move is in response to a NOB request asking police to run background checks on people seeking ordination.
According to the NOB, the checks are to ensure that monks participating in ordination ceremonies comply with standards stipulated by the Sangha Supreme Council.
The move is part of an attempt to put in place a stronger screening system for those seeking to join the monkhood.
Earlier, the government floated a proposal for monks to have smart ID cards that show their backgrounds to enable scrutiny by authorities as part of attempts to address a series of temple scandals.