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Villagers support ex-abbot expelled for love affair

Villagers support ex-abbot expelled for love affair

About 200 villagers gathered in front of Kandal province’s Prek Taten pagoda yesterday to protest the provincial chief monk’s expulsion of the pagoda’s former abbot after he was allegedly discovered having a love affair with a woman last week.

Sun Vy, one of the protesters, said that villagers had seen no evidence that abbot Som Saroeun had broken any Buddhist rules and rejected the idea that he had had an affair.

Saroeun told the Post yesterday that the provincial chief monk had banned him from his former pagoda on threat of defrocking and that he is currently staying in a nearby Phnom Penh pagoda.

He denied all accusations against him and attributed them to the provincial chief monk’s jealousy of the people’s support for him. Provincial religious authorities could not be reached for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cheang Sokha at [email protected]

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