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Morals

Morality and its effect on social development in Cambodia was discussed at a workshop

hosted by KSIA (Khmer Students and Intellectuals Association).

Held at the Cambodian Institute for Human Rights on Dec.8, presenters included the

Venerable Maha Gossananda - leader of the pre -election peace march from Siem Reap

to Phnom Penh and Ourn Noeurng, community leader and secretary of the Cambodian Buddhist

Association of Minnesota, USA.

Also attending was Dr. John Morrison, a volunteer worker with Moral Re-Armament (MRA),

an international NGO working in Cambodia. He was joined by students and representatives

of ministries and associations.

The Ven. Gossananda and Ourn Noeurng spoke of basic Buddhist moral truths, the Panchit

Seila, comparing it with the four absolute moral standards of MRA.

The seila are "don't lie, don't steal, don't commit adultery, don't kill, don't

drink."

A lively debate included discussion ranging from a belief that the seila is lost

on the younger generation to a rejection of absolute values being applicable to every

situation.

Delegates queried if Cambodians struggling to survive would be concerned with moral

issues and others thought everyone should look at themselves before denouncing politicians

for being corrupt.

All who attended had lost family during the Khmer Rouge years and many were returnees

from the border camps.

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