Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Human rights trek for monks

Human rights trek for monks

Human rights trek for monks

Monks will spend days marching hundreds of kilometres to Phnom Penh from five provinces in the lead-up to Human Rights Day on December 10, the head of a dissident monk group said yesterday.

Departing in groups of 20 from Kampong Speu, Kampong Thom, Kampot, Pursat and Svay Rieng provinces on December 1, the monks will walk approximately 20 kilometres a day, Venerable But Buntenh of the Independent Monk Network said.

“We will be meeting up in front of the National Assembly on the 10th in the morning.… At every stop we will hold a forum to interact with local people.… We are looking into the relationship between Buddhist principles and the respect of human rights,” he said.

The monks will present a petition calling for better rights protections at the parliament, Buntenh continued, and will ask representatives from both political parties to accept it.

“We are sending this message to the government, because this government is new. We do not want to see the same practices as before. We want to see changes from the human rights perspective.”

Earlier this month, members of Buntenh’s group walked 30 kilometres through the jungles of Koh Kong province to reach a controversial proposed dam site in the Areng Valley.

Social researcher Kem Ley said despite the recent uptick in monks openly opposing the government, many more would join if they could. “Not all monks belong to the CPP but they just follow under the pressure [from superiors],” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • Chinese living in Kingdom more than doubles since ’17

    The number of Chinese nationals living in Cambodia this year has increased to more than 210,000. The figure rose from last year’s 100,000, the newly appointed Secretary of State Sok Phal confirmed yesterday. He said: “Of the 210,000, more than 78,000 are living in Preah Sihanouk [province], but