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Such a dependency also makes monks not just dependent on but subordinate to the state. Monks are co-opted by such funding and the various, state-conferred positions and ranks. Thus they become docile to the state as they depend on it for funding and prestige. This is a matter members of the public who care about Buddhism and Thai society should debate. Personally, I think the separation of Buddhism and the Thai state is long overdue. If Buddhism is to thrive, it should do so on its own merits and not be kept afloat by state funding. If state funding is not worrisome enough, then one should consider private donation to temples and how less transparent and accountable they are. Private donations handed over for merit-making are susceptible to even more embezzlement, and a system independent from each temple is needed to ensure they are not siphoned off. The faithful will continue to be faithful and they may say what counts is their good intentions. People ought to think about transparency and accountability of these temples as well, however.
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A stone carver in Thailand has now created a new 250kg (39st) statue for the temple. The Thai community in Edinburgh and the Lothians raised the money to have the statue shipped from Thailand. Security has been increased in the wake of the theft. The temple was formed in 2005 in response to the Asian Tsunami. Deputy Abbot Prasert Prommala said: "As a result of the high-profile media attention this incident received, a stone carver in Thailand heard about this and as Buddhists hold Buddha statues with the upmost reverence, it struck a chord with his community spirit and agreed to create a beautiful replacement statute.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-43620239