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Restrictions on movement at Thailand’s biggest Buddhist temple lifted

Restrictions on movement at Thailand’s biggest Buddhist temple lifted

Thailand’s junta lifted restrictions on movement at the country’s biggest Buddhist temple on Tuesday, a month after police ended a siege of the complex whose former abbot is accused of money laundering.

A three-week standoff at the Dhammakaya temple between thousands of police and saffron-robed monks became one of the biggest challenges to government authority since a 2014 coup. Police failed to find the monk.

The temple – nearly 10 times the area of the Vatican City – dwarfs Thailand’s 40,000 or so other temples in wealth as well as size.

“Restriction on the Dhammakaya temple is revoked,” Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said.

The junta had used its Article 44 emergency law to allow security forces to search for Phra Dhammachayo, who is wanted on charges of money laundering and taking over land without permission.

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