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Dhammakaya spokesman faces defamation accusation

Former forest department deputy director-general Vitoon Chalayonnavin, on Wednesday, lodged a complaint with Klong Luang district police in Pathum Thani province accusing spokesman of Wat Dhammakaya Mr Ong-art Thamnitha of committing defamation against him.

Mr Vitoon who is currently a court's expert told the police that Mr Ong-art, in a recent press conference, said he was dismissed from government service because he, on several occasions, made distorted assessments of aerial photos in a way which caused damages to the state.

Mr Ong-art told the media that police referred to Mr Vitoon's distorted aerial photo assessments as basis to take legal action against Phra Dhammachayo for alleged encroachment and illegal construction on a stream in Phu Rua district of Loi province and forest encroachment for the construction of World Peace Valley Buddhist centre in Nakhon Ratchasima.

Mr Vitoon told the police that Mr Ong-art's accusation had damaged his reputation and that of his family and subjected him to hatred by the other people.

On Tuesday, Mr Prayong Preyachit, secretary-general of the Government Sector's Anti-Corruption Committee, urged Pathum Thani provincial authorities to investigate if Wat Dhammakaya used state fund to illegally build a concrete bridge on public land.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)