Monks Ask Commissions to Join City Hall Inspection

Phnom Penh’s Wat Samakki Raingsey, under scrutiny by City Hall for alleged “anti-government acts,” on Friday requested three commissions of the National Assembly to accompany municipal officials to a planned inspection of the pagoda on Tuesday afternoon.

“I sent the letters to request the first commission [on human rights], the seventh commission [on religious affairs] and the 10th commission [on corruption] join the inspection,” said acting chief monk Thach Ha Sam Ang. 

“I think that this is just an excuse to threaten monks and people who live in the pagoda to not join social activities such as demonstrations and protests that seek justice,” he said of the inspection.

Following the fatal stabbing of one monk by another at Samakki Raingsey last month, the city formed a committee to investigate the pagoda, which is one of the few in the city not under the control of the ruling CPP, and is known for providing shelter to out-of-town protesters.

Officials have accused the pagoda’s monks of planning a succession and have threatened to close it down.

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