Venerable Preah Tepsattha Khy Sovanratana, vice rector at Preah Sihanouk Raja Buddhist University, on Tuesday received the Golden Pagoda award from Thailand’s King Maha Vajiranlongkorn, recognising his contributions to the Buddhism religion.
The ceremony was held at Phutthamonthon Auditorium Hall in Bangkok and attended by 103 monks from seven different countries, including Cambodia, Singapore, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.
Chalit Phukphasuk, Air Chief Marshal and member of the Privy Council, handed over the award on behalf of the Thai King, recognising Ven Sovanratana’s contributions to preserving the Buddhism religion, including the renovations of pagodas across Cambodia.
“I was surprised that I was nominated as I did not apply for it,” Ven Sovanratana said yesterday.
Award recipients are selected by a committee in Thailand to recognise outstanding individuals with achievements in the fields of religion, management, academic, counselling, public interest and public contribution.
Ven Sovanratana said he has worked with people from different countries over the past 16 years and has also become a member of many international communities, including the Asia Buddhist community that was recently launched in Myanmar.
“As a monk in this new generation, I am very excited and proud to receive this prize,” he said. “This prize is not only recognising me alone, but also all Cambodian monks, in sharing this honour to be recognised by the international community. This prize is also dedicated to the entire country.”
Tep Kongkea, deputy director of Phnom Penh Cults and Religion Department, acknowledged the prize as a great achievement for Cambodia, a predominantly Buddhist country, and conveyed appreciation to King Rama X for the recognition.
“His majesty King of Thailand must admire Ven Khy Sovanratana for his wholehearted involvement in Buddhism activities,” Mr Kongkea said.