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Thai Monk Gives $1.2M To Gov’t

July 7, 1998

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ A Buddhist monk donated $1.2 million to help the government overcome an economic downturn Monday, a day after he handed over 400 pounds of gold for the same cause.

The 87-year-old Phra Maha Bua Yanasampanno collected the donations from Thais abroad and followers throughout the country.

The monk might have had success in his campaign because of a widespread belief among Thai Buddhists that making donations to a monk or temple will bring them rewards in another life.

Thailand has been plagued by a financial crisis that has spread to neighboring Southeast Asian nations.

Central bank Governor Chatu Mongkol Sonakul said the $1.2 million would be held in Thailand’s foreign exchange reserve account in New York, while the gold, estimated to be worth well more than $1 million, will be held directly by the Bank of Thailand as part of its reserves.

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