Governor of Siem Reap receives Bhagavad-gita
By Bhakti Raghava Swami
We have been interacting with the people of Cambodia since the year 2007, especially here in the small town of Siem Reap which is located some 400 kilometers West of the Capital City of Phnom Penh where daily thousands of eager tourist converge to take darshan of the world famous Angkor Wat, the largest Vishnu temple in the world.
Today, March 21, 2014, was a special day in that we were able to get a personal audience with the Governor of Siem Reap Province, the Honorable H.E. KHIM BUNSONG. Our good friend and Khmer supporter, Mr. Keo Sophat, who is the Director of a local NGO called the Voice and Development of Children and Youths (VDCY) was kind enough to arrange this meeting. The Governor greeted us very cordially at his personal complex, the Bornei Angkor Resort and Spa.
After introducing ourselves and briefly explaining Srila Prabhupada’s missionary activities all over the world, we presented the Governor with various literatures including a copy of the most recent Back to Godhead Magazine, an assortment of local Khmer books as well as a copy of the Bhagavad-gita As it Is in the English language. After spending 30 minutes in pleasant exchanges, we offered him and those attending some Krishna prasadam.
The honorable Governor seemed pleased with our visit and had the following words to share with us:
“On behalf of the Government of Cambodia, myself, and the Siem Reap Government, I would like to thank you for kindly discussing your deep subject matter. As you know in Cambodia our government very kindly allows all the religions to live together with Buddhism with their activities integrated with Buddhists. Our government is not discriminating against nor rejecting any religion. We are very friendly and open to those who are ready to help and work with our Cambodian people. We do not discriminate.
In addition to this, our government allows its people to follow what they believe, either Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and any other religion. Also, our Ministry of Religion has approved to let Christians open their churches everywhere in Cambodia.
But the most important is that all religions have to follow the laws and all the government regulations and guidelines. Then they can live together very peacefully.
It is very good to hear you speaking about your activities and what you plan to do. I am very interested and wish to offer you our support, because this is the most important and very close with our communities.
On behalf of Government of Siem Reap I welcome you and very strongly support all religions that come to help our Cambodian communities.”