Religious Moral Issue: Tep vong Should Keep Monks in Line on Morals

OPINION Letter to the Cambodia Daily
Published on January 12 2007
BY: CHAK Sopheap

I am not surprised that Great Supreme Patriarch Tep Vong has been accused of favoritism toward the ruling party, (Tep Vog Accused of Favoritism, Going Against Buddha,” Tuesday, page 16).

Most of his orders are issued for the government’s sake. These include his February 2005 ban on NGOs, particularly the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, from holding public forum in pagoda. Instead of thinking that they lead to chaos, it would be better for Tep Vong to view the forums as a peaceful means for people to appeal to the government about their needs.

But what concerns me the most is the recent decline of monks’ morality. There has been much news about some monks having sex or watching pornography, or engaging in other misconduct. Tackling this should be top of Tep Vong’s agenda.

I appeal to Tep Vong and other monks to maintain and promote monk’s morality so the state religion is respected and valued. Monks should look back at their past roles in the development of their communities and of the country as a whole.

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