Tensions Rise As Police Question Monk's Followers

September 22, 2009

Author: Ben Stocking

Source: ABC News

Wire Service: AP


Authorities are intensifying their efforts to oust followers of an internationally known Buddhist monk from a monastery in Vietnam's Central Highlands and have accused them of trying to "sabotage" Vietnam's communist government.

An angry crowd gathered outside the Bat Nha monastery on Monday and local police conducted late-night searches of the rooms, said Brother Phap Tu, speaking by telephone Tuesday from the compound in Lam Dong province.

The monks and nuns there are followers of Thich Nhat Hanh, an exiled Vietnam-born monk who has sold more than 1 million books in the West and now lives in southern France.

Conflicts over religion are not unusual in Vietnam, where the government closely monitors religious organizations.