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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Karaoke’s siren song leads monk off path

Karaoke’s siren song leads monk off path

A monk in Kampong Speu province may be defrocked after being caught by villagers at a local karaoke parlor late last month.

Prach Yeng, Pur Angkrong commune chief said yesterday that authorities were deciding whether to dismiss the monk, Ka Thy, 32 who lives in Wat Pur.

“The villagers demanded that we defrock the monk and evict him from the pagoda by claiming that he has violated the laws, but it is not the duty of police; it is the religious officials who will decide on this case,” he said.

Chhum Samorn, director of the Bor Seth district department of religions, said he, along with the pagoda chief, and district and commune police, had already questioned Thy twice and that the monk admitted to dressing up as a common man, but denied singing or canoodling with karaoke girls.

“The monk, he says that he has been a monk since he was young, and he wanted to be happy, but he does not want to be defrocked or leave the pagoda,” he said.

The monk had been instrumental in a number of public works including the construction of the pagoda as well as a local school and road, he added.

Bor Seth district governor Noub Sreng, for his part, wants him out.

“For me, I think that the religious officials should defrock the monk in order to enforce the religious laws. It is the better solution”.

A meeting to decide Thy’s fate will be held after Khmer New Year, said Samorn.

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