Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday called on the public to stop talking about a former chief monk accused of raping a young woman in Banteay Meanchey province and threatened to fire two military officers for spreading the scandal on social media.
Speaking at an inauguration of reconstruction of the National Road 6 linking Kampong Cham province to Siem Reap province on Monday, Mr Hun Sen urged Facebook users and the public not to spread a former chief monk’s scandal because he was defrocked and the woman’s reputation was also damaged.
“I would like to appeal to the people to stop spreading this scandal in order to protect the value of Buddhism and Khmer women,” Mr Hun Sen said, noting that Buddhism’s image should not be tarnished by a few errant monks and Cambodian women’s names should not be damaged by a few women.
Last week, Sril Vanna, former chief monk of Phnom Bak Loeu pagoda, was defrocked after Ke Lita, 20, accused him of raping her at her home in Banteay Meanchey province.
Mr Hun Sen also warned two military officers–Khan Chansophal and Pheng Vannak that they would be sacked for keeping disseminating scandal of Mr Vanna and Ms Lita on Facebook.
“Those who created the problem include Pheng Vannak and Khan Chansophal. If they do not stop disseminating such a thing, we have to fire them from the army unit,” Mr Hun Sen said.
“They are military officers. Why did they ask [Mr Vanna and Ms Lita] to trade arguments,” he said, “That’s not freedom of expression, but they violated other people’s rights.”