Boeng Kak villagers, rights activists and members of the Independent Monk Network for Social Justice on Monday held a forum to discuss the role of monks in politics.
Network leader But Buntenh said the government could learn from being more inclusive and listening to the ideas of its people.
“Some people build temples and listen to the teachings of Buddhism…but then they come back to the city and order people to beat the monks…where is the merit in that?” he asked.
“Since there is no participation from people and communities, they make unnecessary laws,” he added.
Another speaker, monk Khim Sam Oeun, said the government had increasingly stifled and put pressure on “right-thinking monks.” He said, however, that “monks help develop society.”
Monks are becoming increasingly more visible when it comes to demonstrations.
The so-called “multimedia monk,” Loun Sovath, has been threatened with legal action and evicted from his pagoda for his activism and support of land rights issues.