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LDP leader accused of ‘incitement’ by monk

Chbar Ampov pagoda chief Hok Sokhonn speaks to the press yesterday in Phnom Penh.
Chbar Ampov pagoda chief Hok Sokhonn speaks to the press yesterday in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

LDP leader accused of ‘incitement’ by monk

The chief monk of the Chbar Ampov pagoda yesterday filed a complaint – bearing more than 600 thumbprints – with the Ministry of Interior, urging officials to take legal action against the leader of the League for Democracy Party for what he deems insults to Buddhism and the general public.

The petition alleges that Khem Veasna, through his sometimes inflammatory speeches, attempted to “incite” people by intentionally insulting Buddhism, as well as King Norodom Sihamoni, and that the party leader, who is Khmer, had fomented racism by referring to Khmer people as “dogs”. The complaint also alleges Veasna was inciting a “colour revolution” to overthrow the government.

Hok Sokhonn, chief monk at the Chbar Ampov pagoda, said Veasna violated several articles of the Criminal Code, but declined to identify any on the advice of his lawyer and said he would leave it up to the court to judge.

“I have already [given] all [the] thumbprints to the Ministry of Interior, [and I’m] expecting that the ministry will handle the legal procedures,” he said. “If the ministry calls for additional evidence, I’m ready to follow the law … to not allow this guy to further commit illegal [acts].”

Veasna could not be reached for comment, but Chin Thol, secretary-general of the LDP, said he “was not interested in this case”. He reiterated that Veasna’s comments were only aimed at bad Buddhists, but it was normal for people who disliked the party to attack it.

Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, couldn’t be reached for comment.

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