Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Religion ministry mulls lawsuit against activist monk But Buntenh under lèse majesté

Religion ministry mulls lawsuit against activist monk But Buntenh under lèse majesté

But Buntenh (right) speaks to Radio Free Asia on Tuesday night, for which he was later accused of insulting the King by suggesting he, and other Cambodians, drink contaminated water. RFA
But Buntenh (right) speaks to Radio Free Asia on Tuesday night, for which he was later accused of insulting the King by suggesting he, and other Cambodians, drink contaminated water. RFA

Religion ministry mulls lawsuit against activist monk But Buntenh under lèse majesté

The Ministry of Cults and Religion has said it will consider lodging a complaint against activist monk But Buntenh following his remarks that Cambodians, including the King, drink contaminated water.

Cambodian Youth Party President Pich Sros, who initially had said he was thinking about lodging a lawsuit for a breach of the newly introduced lèse majesté law, yesterday said he had turned to the Ministry of Cults and Religions to file it.

Seng Somony, spokesperson for the ministry, said he believed the case would be discussed in today’s annual meeting, along with “other wrongdoings” the monk had committed. The response could include legal action, he said.

In an interview with Radio Free Asia, published Tuesday night, Buntenh said that Prime Minister Hun Sen had granted Vietnamese settlers the right to live on the Tonle Sap river in exchange for the neighbour’s help in overthrowing the Khmer Rouge in 1979, and that they in turn had contaminated the water Cambodians drink with the waste from their floating settlements.

Carl Thayer, of the University of New South Wales, while condemning Buntenh’s comments for being derogatory toward the Vietnamese, said the new law “can be used as a legal weapon to go after opponents of the Hun Sen regime”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the