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Pagoda chief sacked over politics

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
Former pagoda chief Hor Sokhon. DAP News

The Supreme Patriarchs of Cambodia have decided to end the roles and duties of former monk Hor Sokhon as chief of Chbar Ampov pagoda and adviser to the Supreme Patriarch after he dabbled in politics.

Mr Sokhon was also ordered to be defrocked after he posted a message considered by a ruling CPP official to be about the internal breakdown of the party.

The decision of Supreme Patriarch Non Nget, Great Supreme Patriarch Tep Vong and Cults and Religion Minister Him Chhem was made on Wednesday night.

The decision said: “The monk chief, Phnom Penh Municipal Department of Cults and Religion, the deputy monk chief and relevant units have to create a monk commission to return the pagoda to normalcy.”

After the decision, officials from the Ministry of Cults and Religion and authorities sent Mr Sokhon to Botum Vatey pagoda to be defrocked at a religious ceremony at night.

The Supreme Patriarch said that Mr Sokhon agreed to defrock himself.

Hor Sokhon lost his position after dabbling in politics. DAP News

San Samphors, director-general of the Department of Religious Affairs at the Ministry of Cults and Religion, said the end of Mr Sokhon’s roles came because he acted contrary to the Buddha discipline and posted messages related to politics.

Mr Sokhon could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The defrocking took place after a Facebook post by Mr Sokhon on February 1, praising Interior Minister Sar Kheng as the only lucky star of Cambodia who could free Cambodia from international sanctions as well as the revocation of the European Union’s Everything-but-arms trade scheme.

Mr Kheng responded on February 9 that he was surprised by the wording in the message. He thought the message was a trick by unscrupulous politicians who have always wanted to break up the CPP.

“Politicians with unscrupulous ideas have often sent messages to dishonour the leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party, and where there is nothing but a wish to sow suspicion, distrust, envy to lead to the breakdown of the CPP,” he said.

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