Structure Removed From Buddhist Institute Land

A temporary structure built on the Buddhist Institute’s land by Na­gaCorp, which added to swirling rumors late last year that the growing casino empire was planning to develop the land and prompted hundreds of monks to march in protest, has been removed.

The National Assembly’s commission on religious affairs—which in October ordered the removal of the structure after Cults and Religions Minister Min Khin said NagaCorp had been given permission to build it to store materials free of charge—visited the site on Friday to ensure it was gone. 

“[Mr. Khin] has implemented what he promised. And we saw that the wall and the metal roof were removed,” said Yem Po­nhearith, the head of the commission.

Seng Somony, an undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Cults and Religion, declined to comment on when the ministry removed the structure but said it proved that the Buddhist Institute was not under threat from development.

“Obviously we have seen here that there is no sale or rental [of the land],” he said. Mr. Po­nhearith also told reporters that the commission, which also covers tourism, will visit Kep and Kampot provinces next month to inspect Bokor National Park and Rabbit Island, as he said the commission had heard the government had granted a concession to a company on the island.

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