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To Beat Immorality, Monk Says, Care

Cambodia’s moral climate has suffered under war and lawlessness, but the re-teaching of care and compassion can bring it back, a revered monk said Monday.

Venerable monk Hok Sovann, a Cambodian Buddhist leader in Montreal, Canada said the five moral disciplines—not to kill, steal, engage in irresponsible sex or adultery, lie or consume alcohol or drugs—have eroded in Cambodia.

Murder, prostitution, the sale of babies and children, deceit and substance abuse are all a part of the Cambodian social fabric, thanks to a lack of morality, he said.

These come from a weakening of the mental state and of social consciousness, in a country ravaged by war and now plagued by lawlessness and impunity.

To counter it, Hok Sovann said, teachers, monks and parents must focus on moral principals: on caring, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity.