Activist Monk Luon Sovath Avoids Defrocking for Alleged Impropriety

Cambodia’s chief monk has ordered Buddhist leaders nationwide to find and defrock prominent activist Venerable Luon Sovath, who was ordered to give up his monk’s robes for allegedly having sexual relations with women, a claim he denies.

The Siem Reap provincial monk council last week accused Luon Sovath of having a sexual relationship with women in violation of Buddhist disciplinary rules, but the monk on Wednesday denied the allegations, claiming video clips cited by monk and government authorities were doctored and the actions against him were political.

“I, Luon Sovath, have not been caught and eaten by crocodiles, tigers or snakes or been defrocked yet, and currently I am at a safe place,” he said in a Facebook post. The monk could not be reached by phone on Thursday.

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