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Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara Dead: Thai Buddhism's Supreme Patriarch Dies At 100

Friday, October 25, 2013

BANGKOK -- BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's Supreme Patriarch, who headed the country's order of Buddhist monks for more than two decades, died Thursday. He was 100.

Doctors said that Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara (SOM-ded PRA YA-na-SUNG-WORN) died at Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital in Bangkok, where he had been treated since being admitted for an illness more than a decade ago.

"(The Supreme Patriarch's) overall condition deteriorated and he passed away at 7:30 p.m. from septicemia," or a severe blood infection, the doctors said in a statement.

After he was admitted to the hospital on Feb. 20, 2002, the Supreme Patriarch was able to perform leadership duties for a time, but in 2004, a senior Buddhist monk was appointed to work on his behalf. That monk died earlier this year, raising speculation about who the Supreme Patriarch's successor will be.

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