SE Asia’s ‘Environmental’ Monks Need International Support

Eurasia Review

A 76-year old Buddhist monk living on his own in his forest monastery in North-eastern Thailand has appealed for international help after receiving death threats from illegal loggers according to a report in Bangkok Post.

In neighbouring Cambodia, monks who are mobilizing under the banner of ‘Independent Monk Network for Social Justice’ have regularly put their lives in danger in fighting illegal logging operators who sometimes have the protection of government officials. They also spoke out July 2016 in an appeal via the German television network Deutsche Welle (DW).

The Germans were given access to film a workshop the monks conducted near Prey Lang – one of Cambodia’s largest and evergreen woodlands. In the workshop the monks taught the local people how to use social media to protect themselves and the forests. Large parts of the forest has already disappeared paving the way for plantations and those that remains, illegal loggers are at work cutting tree after tree as government agencies that are supposed to protect the environment turn a blind eye.

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