Monks Up In Arms Over Police Assault

January 28, 2010

Author: Do Je-hae

Source: The Korea Times

The case of a drunken group of policemen beating up a monk is testing the relations between the Lee Myung-bak administration and the Buddhist circles.

The assault took place on the night of Jan. 19 at Yonghwa Temple in Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province. Jigwan, the chief monk of the temple, claimed that he went out when he heard a dog bark and was beaten up by the policemen, when he asked them to keep quiet. The Jigwan in question is not the Ven. Jigwan, chief executive of the largest Buddhist Jogye Order. 

Still, Buddhist circles are up in arms. Jogye expressed deep regret, while opposition parties are using the occasion to voice their opposition to Lee's troubled four-river restoration project.