His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun has chosen the abbot of Wat Ratchabophit, Somdet Phra Maha Muniwong as the 20th Supreme Patriarch of Thailand.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said on Tuesday that he submitted the names of five qualified monks nominated for the supreme patriarch to HM the King for consideration and, on the same day, he was informed that the King had made his choice for Somdet Phra Maha Muniwong.
The formal ceremony for the installation of the new supreme patriarch is schedulted at Wat Phra Srirattanasasadaram of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha on February at 5 pm to be presided over by HM the King.
The King's appointment of the supreme patriarch was made possible by an amendment to the Sangha Act empowering the King instead of the Supreme Sangha Council to appoint the supreme patriarch.
Formerly named Mr Amporn Prasatthapong, Somdet Phra Maha Muniwong was a chief monk of the Dhammayuttika Nakaya order and a member of the Supreme Sangha Council. He was born on June 26, 1930 in Tambon Bang Pa, Muang district of Ratchaburi to Mr Nub and Mrs Tarn Prasatthapong, a merchant family.
He entered into the monkhood as a novice in 1940 at the age of ten in Wat Sattanartpreewat Voravihara in Ratchaburi and was ordained as a monk in 1948 at Wat Ratchabophit.
The supreme patriarch completed his education in religious affairs at the Maha Makutratchavitayalai University before furthering his post-graduate study in history and archaeology at the Banaras Hindu University in India.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)