Crooning monk defrocked

AP, May 7, 2005

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia -- A Buddhist abbot accused of singing karaoke and wearing normal street clothes in southeastern Cambodia has been defrocked, a newspaper reported yesterday.

Police and villagers detained Um Samnang, 21, as he returned last week to Choutika Ram pagoda ? where he was the abbot ? wearing civilian clothes instead of the saffron- or burgundy-coloured robes monks traditionally wear, the Cambodia Daily reported.

Villagers tipped off police, telling them they believed that Um Samnang had borrowed clothes from students at the pagoda and went out to sing karaoke about 10 times, Ngin Sophal, a local police chief, told the newspaper.

Monks are not allowed to wear normal clothes or seek pleasure. ? AP