Monday, October 3, 2011

Cambodia's activist monk remains defiant despite temple ban

Updated October 3, 2011 15:42:32

A Cambodian monk, who has been targeted by the government for his social activism, says the country's top leaders are responsible for the poverty and suffering of some of its citizens.

Venerable Luon Sovath came to prominence after a forced eviction from his village in 2009 turned violent, and police opened fire on land protesters, injuring four people.

The villagers called the monk in to help document the incident and advocate on their behalf.

This began his work travelling the country, helping to inform people of their rights and to protest against land grabs.

He says this practice of what he calls "engaged Buddhism" has resulted in him being arrested and being threatened with beatings, death, and defrocking as a monk.

In April this year, the ruling body for Buddhist monks in Cambodia banned Venerable Luon Sovath from going to temples in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap.

Presenter: Liam Cochrane
Speaker: Venerable Luon Sovath, a Cambodian monk and social activist

Click this link to listen the whole interview


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