Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Affair jeopardises monk

Affair jeopardises monk

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Door gate of Baley Thmey pagoda in Takeo province’s Samrong district is where chief monk at the pagoda was accused of having a love affair with a woman.

Affair jeopardises monk

Baley Thmey pagoda committee head Eng Sy and 400 other locals in Takeo province’s Samrong district have accused Venerable Oum Vutha, chief monk at the pagoda, of having a love affair with a woman.

On Tuesday, they alleged that Vutha asked them to help him get engaged with a woman in the village and promised that if she agrees, he would leave the monkhood.

Sy said Vutha asked him and other laymen at the pagoda to assist him in securing the engagement. However, after the woman accepted, Vutha refused to leave and even brought his fianceé to live with him.

“A couple of days after she agreed to marry him, we saw that the chief monk had taken her to live with him in his residence.

“Since then, Vutha has rarely stayed at the pagoda and spent most of his time at his residence with the girl. After that, the girl got pregnant and needed to abort the baby,” Sy claimed.

Sieng Khom, Ta Sak village chief of Chomras Pen commune, said the locals no longer wanted Vutha at the pagoda.

“We cannot let the chief monk stay in the pagoda anymore. We sent a request to officials, including the provincial office, to defrock Vutha . . . At first, he said he will leave the monkhood to get married. But after he got engaged, he refused to leave . . . If he wants a wife, he should leave the monkhood first. Don’t violate Buddhist rules,” he said.

Vutha could not be reached for comment. However, he is said to have confessed to breaking monkhood rules to the laymen and villagers, saying that he did get engaged, but the woman has only been doing chores.

“The allegations regarding the engagement are true, but I have only asked her to clean my residence. Her salary is 200,000 riel [$50] and a bag of rice a month.”

Ministry of Cults and Religion spokesman Seng Somony said he has only just received information on the case.

He said if the story is true, Vutha will have to face discipline.

“Before punishment, we need to examine and collect evidence to avoid any misunderstanding. This is a strange case, it has never happened before. We will act according to the rules of the monkhood and applicable laws. We can’t let this happen again. We will work to discover the truth,” Somony said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Mysterious century-old structure found at bottom of Angkor pond

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has discovered a mysterious 1,000-year-old structure of a wooden building at the bottom of a pond after the Angkor Wat temple’s conservation team completed restoring its northern cave. The deputy director at ANA’s Angkor International Research and Documentation

  • Cellcard announces Cambodia’s first use of 5G to help Kingdom during Covid-19

    Cellcard on Friday announced Cambodia’s first use of 5G for a telemedicine service at four locations across Phnom Penh to help the Kingdom’s most critically ill during the Covid-19 outbreak. Cellcard, which is the only 100 per cent Cambodian-owned and "Proudly Khmer" mobile network

  • Former CNRP activist nabbed for offering online English classes

    Authorities detained a high school teacher in Kampong Chhnang province on Thursday after he was caught conducting online classes despite the fact that schools had been ordered to close temporarily to prevent Covid-19 infections. Keo Thai teaches at Boribo High School in Kampong Chhnang and

  • Health ministry warns against using virus-testing machines

    The Ministry of Health has threatened legal action against anyone who publicised their test results after using COVID-19 rapid testing machines. The ministry said such machines were not even approved or recognised for use by the World Health Organisation (WHO). It said test the results

  • National Assembly approves two coal-fired power plants

    The National Assembly (NA) unanimously approved draft laws paving the way for the construction of two coal-fired power plants worth $1.665 billion to supply 100 per cent of electricity required in the Kingdom by 2025. An NA member said at the session that the plants will be located

  • The good and bad of credit growth

    In the last 10 years, the property and construction sectors have propelled Cambodia’s economy. But rising borrowings threaten to dampen its future unless something is done soon They say all good things must come to an end, perhaps not “the” end. A slowdown in real