PHNOM PENH, Dec 17 (Bernama) — Some 150 Buddhist monks held a protest in the capital on Tuesday in calling the government to take urgent action to deal with last week’s theft of the country’s only Buddha relics, Xinhua news agency reported.
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 the former royal city of Udong in Kandal province last Tuesday.
On Sunday, the Kandal Provincial Court charged five persons with aggravated theft for suspected involvement in stealing the relics.
The whereabouts of the relics remain unknown.
The protest ended on Tuesday morning after Venerable Khim Sorn, chief of secretariat of the Mohanikaya Buddhist order, met with the monks and agreed to a letter demanding the government to expediate investigation into the stolen relics.
Cambodia’s late King Norodom Sihanouk brought the relics from Sri Lanka to Cambodia in 1957 to mark the 2,500th anniversary of Buddha’s birth.
In 2002, the king moved the relics from Phnom Penh to Udong Mountain in an elaborate ceremony attended by tens of thousands of Buddhist representatives.
Deputy Prime Minister and Cabinet Minister Sok An said Monday an investigation into the case was underway.