Kamphaeng Phet –
Three monks described as senior, experienced monks, were caught drinking alcohol by area law enforcement at a temple in Kamphaengphet on New Year’s Day, January 1st, 2022.
A team of officers from the Mueang Kamphaengphet District Office went to a temple in the Na Borkam sub-district after they were notified by local residents who were concerned that the group of monks was drinking alcohol and partying for New Year’s, which is against the monk’s rules of conduct. No alcohol bottles were found but the odor of alcohol was, according to the officers, strong in the area.
A monk named only as Arpat, who appeared to be highly intoxicated according to law enforcement officers, first denied having drank any alcohol but after some time and discussion with authorities reportedly admitted to doing so.
Monk Arpat told the Mueang Kamphaengphet officials, “We don’t usually drink, only in festivals (Without acknowledging that drinking is against the rules of conduct for Buddhist Monks in Thailand). We were drinking local rice whisky from local residents who wanted to give the spirits to their ancestors as a blessing. So we drank this whisky in order to deliver alcohol to those dead people, we were doing a good thing by blessing their ancestors and thought this would not violate the rules of being a monk.”
Abbotts and law enforcement, however, did not agree with Arpat’s interpretation of a blessing.
Alcohol was found during an alcohol breath test on the three monks by law enforcement and all three monks were to be expelled from the monkhood for breaking one of their major rules.