Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Find Buddha relics: monks

A congregation of monks takes cover from rain at the Chaktomuk Theatre during a peaceful protest in Phnom Penh
A congregation of monks takes cover from rain at the Chaktomuk Theatre during a peaceful protest in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Find Buddha relics: monks

More than 100 monks marched through the capital yesterday, demanding the government do more to recover Buddha relics stolen last week.

The protesters walked from Freedom Park to the Royal Palace, carrying banners that read: “The government and all the hierarchy of monk clergy have to take responsibility for the loss of the Buddha relics. Corruption breeds theft.”

An unspecified number of statues as well as a golden urn said to contain cremated ashes of Buddha were taken from a stupa at Oudong Mountain sometime on Thursday and have not yet been found.

“I am extremely sad for the loss of Buddha relics, which is a treasure giving prosperity, happiness and power to our beloved Cambodia,” Prince Norodom Ranariddh, president of the Supreme Council of the King, said in a statement issued Monday.

The relics were brought to Cambodia from Sri Lanka in 1957 by the late King Norodom Sihanouk to commemorate the 2,500th anniversary of Buddha’s birth.

“Since the heist of the Buddha relics, there has been no reaction from Cambodian monk officials,” said the Venerable But Buntenh, leader of the Independent Monks Network, as demonstrators gathered outside Chaktomuk Theater yesterday.

Representatives from the Ministry of Religion came to talk with the monks, but the protesting crowd chanted over the negotiations, “You say you are working on it, but you have to show a clear statement or we will not believe you,” demonstrators called out.

“The government has requested the board of monks stay quiet, because the government is working on this,” said Venerable Khim Sorn, the Phnom Penh municipal director of monks. He assuaged the protesters by promising that a letter on behalf of the monks would be sent to the government.Thirteen people were initially detained in connection with the missing Buddha relics, five of them, including four stupa guards, were charged on Sunday.

“We still do not have any evidence about the loss, [but] we are continuing the search,” said Mok Chito, director of the Ministry of Interior’s Department of Central Justice Police.

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Phnom Penh eats: Homegrown veggies at Bayon Beoung Snor

​Nestled along National Road 1, Bayon Beoung Snor is a farm-cum-restaurant. The team grows their own vegetables, which they then use to whip up traditional Khmer food.

Bill Clough reflects on The Phnom Penh Post's 25 year history

The Post's publisher Bill Clough, under whose leadership the publication went from a fortnightly to a daily one, discusses his investment in Cambodia, his vision for the paper in an increasingly digital age,

People search for their names on the voter lists at a polling station in Kampong Cham’s Veal Vong commune earlier this month.

Four years ago, when the opposition snatched Kampong Cham away from the ruling party in 2013 national elections, it hinted at a deeper shift taking

Comfrel Executive Director Koul Panha speaks to the press at a meeting yesterday in Phnom Penh.

As the National Election Committee launched into the recount proc