Drunk monk's streaking gets him disrobed

Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Aug 26, 2006

Phnom Penh, Cambodia -- A Cambodian Buddhist monk who stripped naked and raced through suburban streets after a heavy night of drinking rice wine laced with toads has been asked to leave the monkhood, a religious official said Saturday.

Sim Soktriya, chief monk of Russei Keo district on the outskirts of the capital, said a woman discovered the naked monk Friday passed out on her doorstep.

Soktriya said Dem Yonly, 30, had been drinking toad wine, excusing the forbidden behaviour for Buddhist monks by saying he was drinking it as medicine to treat an unspecified illness.

Cambodians widely believe that poison in the toads helps kill illnesses.

Yonly stripped and streaked, then fell asleep near his pagoda, scaring a woman who walked outside to find the naked monk lying in her garden covered in mud, police said. Officers turned him over to the pagoda.

'He will not face criminal charges - we have just asked him to go home. This is not the first time he has been warned, but he does not listen,' Soktriya said.

He said Yonly had been a monk for nearly seven years but had showed no sign of improvement. The defrocking also bars him from rejoining the monkhood at any other pagoda in Cambodia, Soktriya said.