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Monks brawl over food offerings in capital

Monks from Saravan Decho pagoda stand on the roadside after they were involved in an argument near Wat Phnom yesterday.
Monks from Saravan Decho pagoda stand on the roadside after they were involved in an argument near Wat Phnom yesterday. Photo supplied

Monks brawl over food offerings in capital

Two monks are being reprimanded after they came to blows over food offerings from villagers in Phnom Penh’s Wat Phnom commune yesterday, according to local authorities.

Wat Phnom police chief Oun Samarth said that monks Keo Chamroeun, 25, and Seoun Mab, 24, of Saravan Decho pagoda began arguing over their respective shares while on their morning collection rounds, eventually beating one another to the surprise of local onlookers.

“We were very shocked to see that the people beating each other on the public road were monks,” said Chan Tha, who was bringing her child to Kantha Bopha Hospital as the monks conducted their usual prayers and blessings in exchange for food and money when the conflict broke out.

“They make this look like a bad religion. The monks must have a good and generous attitude to set an example for their supporters,” she said.

Another bystander, Khoun Van, reported that “one monk got very angry while the others were singing and praying. They were not harmonious together. It was unbelievable.”

Samath said that the pair has been sent to the pagoda for disciplinary education.

This year has seen several other monks penalised for public displays of bad behaviour, including four who were arrested for drinking and dancing in a Kampong Cham province karaoke parlour in March.

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