Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Laymen face expulsion over border post row

Laymen face expulsion over border post row

Laymen face expulsion over border post row

TWO Buddhist laymen who arranged a ceremony for opposition leader Sam Rainsy in Svay Rieng province late last month face expulsion from their pagoda after a controversy in which Sam Rainsy Party officials uprooted posts marking the Cambodia-Vietnam border.

Pov Pheap, second deputy chief of Chantrea district’s Samraong commune, said the two laymen – Chak Sovann and Mom Poy from Ang Romdenh pagoda – would both be removed from their posts on the pagoda’s layman commission and questioned by district religious officials over the organisation of the October 25 ceremony.

“The district office of religious affairs called them to meet and the meeting ordered the organisation of a new commission and to remove Chak Sovann and Mom Poy from the commission,” he said. During the October 25 ceremony organised to mark the Kathen festival, Sam Rainsy, along with villagers and other SRP lawmakers, uprooted six posts marking the border between Cambodia and Vietnam. The villagers had complained to him that the Vietnamese had illegally planted poles on their rice fields.

SRP spokesman Yim Sovann said the officials behind the removal of the two men should face criminal charges.

Nget Dara, a Svay Rieng-based coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said the move against the men was motivated by politics. “This removal is a case of political discrimination,” he said. “I wonder why they are acting like this – the pagoda is a place for Buddhist ceremonies.”

Sam Rainsy is also likely to face repercussions for his part in the ceremony. A statement released by the SRP this week said the government had filed a lawsuit against Sam Rainsy for the border stunt, following complaints from Vietnam that his actions threatened to disrupt the two countries’ joint border demarcation.

Chantrea district Governor Chea Yeang would not comment on the removal of the two laymen.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all