Cambodian monks call for action against Buddha’s relics theft
Phnom Penh – About 150 Buddhist monks Tuesday held a protest here, calling for the Cambodian government to take action against the theft of the country’s only relics of the Buddha.
Monks carrying national and religious flags and banners read: “The demonstration is to demand the government to take an urgent measure for the loss of the relics of the Buddha.”
“We urge the government to launch a serious probe into the loss of the relics of the Buddha last week,” Xinhua quoted Venerable But Buntenh, a representative of the protesting monks as saying.
A golden urn containing what are believed to be relics of the Buddha including hair, teeth and bones was stolen from a mountaintop shrine in Udong city in Kandal province last Tuesday, said Kheng! Tito, spokesman, national military police.
The Kandal Provincia! l Court Sunday charged five people with aggravated theft for their suspected involvement in stealing the relics of the Buddha. So far, the whereabouts of the relics remains unknown.
Cambodia’s late king Norodom Sihanouk brought the relics from Sri Lanka to Cambodia in 1957 to mark Buddha’s 2,500th birth anniversary.
Deputy Prime Minister and Cabinet Minister Sok An said Monday that an investigation into this case was underway.
Cambodia is a Buddhist-dominant country, where about 90 percent of the 14.8 million population are Buddhists.