The recent news reported by many media outlets in Cambodia about the criminal court order towards an oversea Khmer dissent named Suon Serey Ratha who is known for his movement called "Khmer People Power Movement or KPPM", by the court of Cambodia, has linked it to other two Cambodian Buddhist monks. According to news reported by Voice of Democracy (VOD) and Radio Free Asia (RFA), Venerable Sieng Sovannara, the vice abbot of Watt Samakii Rangsy of Mean Chey District, Phnom Penh city, was interrogated on a suspicion of his association with Suon Serey Ratha and Venerable Preah Krou Luon Sovath.
By this order and linkage, it means two Cambodian monks mentioned above, especially Preah Krou Luon Sovath, have involved in criminal accuse or indirectly threatening?
Note that Suon Serey Ratha is known for his sharp critics towards the government and he has led an anti-movement to topple the government by traveling to different countries to persuade Cambodian dissents to join his movement including his many trips in-and-out Cambodia. He is a naturalized American and a layman.
Venerable Preah Krou Luon Sovath was primarily affected by the forced eviction and land grab in his home village. His two siblings were wounded by the gunshot and many villagers and neighbors were arrested by the authority. His compassion urged him to leave Phnom Penh city, his accommodation for university schooling, to help those siblings and neighbors. Finally, he got many warning from the authority, the order from provincial Buddhist leader, and the directive from the supreme patriarch of Cambodia. The directive from the supreme patriarch banned him from staying in any pagoda in the Kingdom as well as ordered all abbots not to allow Venerable Preah Krou Luon Sovath to stay in the pagoda.
Though perceiving of such frightening situation, Venerable Preah Krou Luon Sovath has still wandered to different directions entire the country to preach to those forced eviction villagers and the victims of land grab on the importance of using non-violence, be mindful and be patient to the problems. Those victims need both spiritual refuge and peace guidance from Venerable Preah Krou Luon Sovath.
For the recent linkage by the municipal court, we are doubtful on the intention of the court:
- Venerable Preah Krou Luon Sovath has not yet received official letter from the court for questioning and we would like to receive further explanation from the municipal court on this linking to his name.
- Venerable Preah Krou Luon Sovath is a Buddhist monk whose main task is to practice the Dhamma and to spread this Dhamma to others accordingly. He has never contended with any political figure or involved with any political tendency. He has never involved with the accused Suon Serey Ratha at all.
- He is a simple monk who has lived with the villagers. The monks make a living by the offering of the villagers, the villagers need spiritual refuge and peace guidance, monks must engage with them.
We do hope all NGOs, human rights organizations, world religious leaders, foreign embassies in Phnom Penh, the United Nations, international communities and peace-lover individuals, pay attention to this latest legal linkage of Cambodian authority towards Venerable Preah Krou Luon Sovath.
We do hope all living beings live together peacefully without discriminating or taking advantage from each other by their greed (Lobha), hatred (Dosa) or delusion (Moha).
May all beings be free from greed, hatred and delusion.
May Peace and Prosperity be with you all,