Accusing him of trying to provoke hostilities and undermining relations between the states of Cambodia and Vietnam, Cambodian patriarch Tep Vong has defrocked a Khmer Krom monk living in Takeo province. Tim Sakhorn, the monk in question, was forcibly defrocked on Saturday. Defrockings of this sort normally are taken not only to expel a member from the order, but more importantly to make the monk subject to the harsher punishments of state authority. Therefore, it is understandable that Sakhorn disappeared immediately after his expulsion, and that authorities are asking for clues to his whereabouts. [Thanks to Patrice Ladwig for sending me pdfs of the Cambodia Daily article which reports this]
The obviously partisan group Khmer Kampuchea Krom Human Rights Organization (KKHRO) has released a statement, in which they give an account of the defrocking, according to witness statements they have collected, and an interview with Prak Saran of the human rights organization adhoc. They make a point of emphasizing a secondary piece of information ((KI Media felt it necessary to typograph
ically emphasize this point)): that immediately after the defrocking, Hun Sen’s private bodyguard unit, a private army loyal only to Hun Sen, took him away by car and that no one now knows where he is. The theory that he disappeared for his own safety has now largely been transformed into one that he was never offered that chance. He’ll either show up dead or charged with a crime, or not at all.
Now it appears that Ven. Tep Vong is defrocking more Khmer Krom monks in Cambodia and deporting them to Vietnam (perhaps the same has happened already with Tim Sakhorn). According to a news article in Sralanh Khmer, he ordered the defrocking of eleven other KK monks and their deportation, as retribution for their protest over the forcible defrocking, back in April, of a different KK Monk. One of those protests erupted into monkish brawls [video]. It is unclear to me which group started it, but it is pretty obvious that the pro-Tep Vong contingent was looking for some trouble with the protesters.
First video section from the documentary on Khmer Krom, “Eliminated without bleeding”:
And Still More:
Today, Tep Vong has declared that his most recent purge of Khmer Krom monks has finished.