Buddhist monks in Cambodia will be banned from taking part in a water festival this month to prevent undignified behaviour such as mingling with scantily-clad women and seeing couples kissing, the country's chief monk said today.
During the Boat Racing Festival between November 20 and 22, monks will be required to stay in their pagodas and watch the event on TV, said 85-year-old chief patriarch Non Gneth.
"For a monk to walk freely with crowds of ordinary people during the water festival violates the rules of the Lord Buddha," the patriarch said.
"If the monks walk freely, they will see women wearing sexy clothes or see people kissing. This violates their discipline," he said. He added some younger monks carried mobile phones equipped with cameras at last year's festival and took pictures of people dancing, drinking alcohol and kissing - all of which are not allowed, including the possession of mobile phones.
Monks are supposed to adhere to a code of Buddhist precepts that include celibacy and not touching or being alone with women, not drinking alcohol and leading a contemplative lifestyle without material possessions. .....