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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - KR leaders urged to shave their heads

KR leaders urged to shave their heads

KHMER Rouge leaders Pol Pot, Khieu Samphan (below right) and Ta Mok should

confess their sins and become Buddhist monks, according to the country's

spiritual leader, the Venerable Maha Ghosananda (below left).

Ghosananda

- who had an audience with King Norodom Sihanouk (below center) on Jan 31 - said

the King had accepted that the KR leadership should be allowed to stay in

Cambodia if they became monks.

Days earlier, the King, in a speech in

Battambang, urged senior KR figures such as Khieu Samphan to lay down their

weapons and rejoin society. But the King rejected Pol Pot or Ta Mok ever being

able to legitimately remain in the country.

Ghosananda told the Post that

KR chiefs, responsible for many murders, could only be saved from their sins if

they repented.

"It is the time - they have to change their attitudes. We

should understand that Buddha will save you from sin if anyone is willing to

confess the sin and follow [Buddha].

"Only this...can stop these

master-murderers from continuing killing. Because if they are monks they should

be perfect and not kill even a bird."

He referred to the murderous

Ankolimeir, a figure in Buddhist folklore, who was saved from his sins after

confessing and offering to be a Buddhist monk.

Ghosananda - who has met

KR nominal leader Khieu Samphan several times in Beijing, Paris and the North

Korean capital Pyongyang - said he would urge him to become a monk the next time

he saw him.

"If he is a Buddhist monk, he would give up his ambition,

violence, power and killing.

"But I don't know if he would listen to me.

I always give [Samphan] some Buddhist books - of course, he reads them in front

of me but I don't know if his heart will be changed or not."

Ghosananda

said Samphan had asked him to pray for him during their previous meetings. But

the KR leader had remained silent and unsmiling when Ghosananda spoke the words

of Buddha.

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