Minister of Interior Sar Kheng urged Buddhist institutions to embrace the latest technology and take advantage of it to spread spiritual education. Buddhist knowledge will help followers to learn to live together happily, along with respect for the laws of the Kingdom.

Speaking at the December 12 opening of the 30th National Congress of Buddhist Monks at Chaktomuk Conference Hall, Sar Kheng said the government had build friendship, solidarity, and close cooperation with many countries around the word. This was reflected by recent world and regional summits as well as official states visits by foreign leaders.

The increased use of technology in Cambodia has presented some challenges, he said, singling out social media especially as something that had sometimes been used in a negative fashion.

He suggested that this was perhaps the perfect time for Buddhism to step in and use the newest technology to spread its positive messages.

“Buddhist institutions must understand technology and use it correctly. Using it to spread Buddhist theories and education will encourage its followers to practise them in their daily lives, and this will bring harmony to society,” he said.

Sar Kheng, who attended the event on behalf of King Norodom Sihamoni, urged the Buddhist monk leaders attending the congress to share their good experiences and practices while promoting Buddhism – which is the state religion – and to follow all prakas.

He urged them to adhere to the principles of understanding for each other, respect based on their ranking, and unity and solidarity. All monks should study the Dharma, follow them, and make themselves examples for other Buddhists.

Minister of Cults and Religions Chhit Sokhon said the monk congress was attended by 450 Buddhist monk leaders, officials from the National Assembly and Senate, and officials from sub-national institutions. Several foreign diplomats and representatives of Islam also attended.

The congress will conclude on December 13. During the two-day assembly, the monk leadership discussed their recent achievements and plans to make Buddhism stronger.

“The National Congress of Buddhist Monks discussed plans which will be implemented next year. We will improve our management structure and implement legal provisions, so that the state religion can contribute further to the social and economic development of the Kingdom,” Sokhon said.