A woman has claimed she accepted money to enter a chief monk’s room at Brasat Meanchey pagoda in Takeo province’s Bati district – an act that led to his defrocking amid accusations he had invited her in.
A day after more than 2,000 villagers from eight villages in Takeo province’s Bati district sent a letter asking Prime Minister Hun Sen to intervene to reinstate the monk, Chheng Phally yesterday said she was paid 200,000 riels (US$50) to enter the monk’s room.
“The monks and pagoda committees gave me US$50 for doing that. I didn’t want to do that, but they forced me and threatened to take the money back if I didn’t do it,” she said, adding that by this stage, she had bought food with the money because she was poor.
“I went to the monk’s house and sat on the bed, and then one more monk locked the door to keep me in the monk’s house and they told me not to go out,” she said.
Theam Seng Ky, 41, did not know she was in his room until the villagers and authorities arrived and asked him if anyone was inside, she said.
“I begged them not to defrock him, I am happy to go to jail, but they did not listen to me. I regret what I did.”
Chou Chorn, a layman of Brasat Meanchey pagoda, said he didn’t believe Theam Seng Ky had taken a woman to his room.
“It is unfair for our chief monk because he did not do this bad thing,” he said.
Theam Seng Ky maintained he had been framed.
“Monks and pagoda committees do not want me to be the monk leader in the pagoda anymore. That’s why they hired a woman to enter my house and then accused me of sleeping with the woman,” he said.