A group of monks yesterday accused ruling party lawmaker Chheang Vun of insulting them and bringing beer into a pagoda, but their demands for an apology and 25 cents in compensation were quickly rejected.
In a press conference yesterday, Thong Narith, president of the Independent Monk Network for Social Justice (IMNSJ), said that the incidents took place on Monday when Vun came to Chroy Changvar commune’s Old Pagoda to visit boat racers and land dispute victims.
“He used words to offend the monks, and said the monks had to take off their robes if they wanted to be involved in [seeking a resolution to] the land disputes,” Narith claimed, adding that Vun purchased beer for the racers to drink in the pagoda.
IMNSJ founder But Buntenh said if Vun did not apologise and pay the compensation, the IMNSJ would file a petition to the National Assembly and Prime Minister Hun Sen. “I will arrange for monks to arrest [him] to make him apologise,” he said.
Vun said yesterday that an apology was not in the cards.
“If I am lying and did threaten the monks to take off their robes, let me go to hell. But if I did not and the monks [wrongly] accuse me, let their sins be known … and we can discuss [this] at the National Assembly.”