District officials and top Buddhist monks in Kompong Cham province are investigating allegations that a pagoda abbot tried to assault the wife of a mural painter he had hired, human rights workers and officials said. Wednesday.
Sen Sath, deputy Srei Santhor district governor, said district police and the monk authority are investigating the conduct of a
25-year-old abbot from Wat Serei Sorphea after 189 villagers from Chraloat Dai, who feed the wat’s monks, submitted a complaint.
Chan Chen, director of the Kompong Cham Cambodian Center for Human Rights, said the villagers complained after mural painter Pov Vanna reported seeing the abbot attack his wife.
Pov Vanna was suspicious of the abbot, Un Sam Ol, and stayed awake the night of Feb 22 to see whether the abbot would attack his pretty, young wife, Chan Chen said, citing the written complaint received from villagers Tuesday.
At 2 am, Pov Vanna saw Un Sam Ol about to grab his sleeping wife near the pagoda where the couple was staying. The painter threw a rock at the monk’s head, slightly injuring him, Chan Chen said. Villagers have demanded the abbot be kicked out of the pagoda or defrocked as punishment, Chan Chen said, though the monk has denied he was breaking Buddhist tenets forbidding sex and lust.
According to Buddhist doctrine, a clergymen who has sex will lose his spirituality and monkhood and be condemned to hell.
Chan Chen and colleague Kong Leap said the villagers have asked authorities to solve the problem before Khmer New Year begins next week.
Sen Sath gave no timetable for the investigation. “We heard that this happened, but we don’t know for sure, so we need to make a serious investigation into this in order to find justice for both the monk and the villagers,” he said.
Sen Sath said that another monk was defrocked in the commune in 2002 for having affairs with women.