Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - For love or money?: Discord in pagoda over new guests

For love or money?: Discord in pagoda over new guests

For love or money?: Discord in pagoda over new guests

Three monks from Phnom Penh’s Stung Meanchey pagoda have been told to stop accepting displaced families into the pagoda and curb their criticism of the government.

Yen Ratanak Sotheavy said yesterday that chief abbot Tha Bunthoeun and others from the pagoda’s administration warned him he would be expelled if he kept letting the families who are involved in a land dispute in Banteay Meanchey province in and out of the pagoda.

“They said we use the villagers to make money, but I told them the pagoda belongs to Buddhists and is not controlled exclusively by the chief abbot,” he said.

Nonetheless, Ratanak Sotheavy said he earned $300 to $400 per day for hosting the displaced families, which had made the pagoda management “jealous”.

Yim Ek Vutha, deputy chief abbot, said Sotheavy had exaggerated the plan to expel the monks.

He said the problem was that the monks had not informed him about the guests.

“The monks used the pagoda for politics, insulting the government and using people to make money,” he said.

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