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Thai Monks Traveling on Private Jet Cause Uproar

Three Thai monks have landed in hot water after footage of the trio flying on a private jet, wearing sunglasses and earphones and carrying Louis Vuitton bags emerged on YouTube.

The video has caused backlash in Thailand as the images in the video are completely at odds with the clergy’s principles - high on that list is living without possessions (save for a few robes).

The monks, who have been “reprimanded,” told their superiors that the jet was chartered by a devotee to fly them home to northeast Si Sa Ket from Bangkok after performing duties in November.

Nopparat Benjawattantnun, director of the National Office of Buddhism, did not seem impressed by this explanation:

"[Their] behavior -- wearing sunglasses and carrying a Louis Vuitton handbag -- amounts to an ostentatious display that will provoke criticism from laymen."

For Thailand, where Buddhism is practiced by 95% of the population, this is not the first time monks have made news for bad behavior. In the past, some of the country’s 61,000 monks have been found taking drugs, drinking, gambling and visiting prostitutes, according to the Associated Press.

Details of the incident are still forthcoming but Pra Khru Vinaithorn Teerawit, of the Buddhism Protection Center of Thailand, feels that public option may come down to who requested the jet:

"If monks chose to travel by jet then it's not suitable," he said.

[Yahoo! News]

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