The Phnom Penh Forum of the South China Sea Buddhism Roundtable took place in Cambodia on December 15, 2022. Vice President of the Buddhist Association of China and Abbot of Hongfa Temple in Shenzhen, Master Yin Shun, the Great Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia, Ven. Tep Vong, the Great Supreme Patriarch of Dhammayuttikanikaya of Cambodia, H.H. Bour Kry, President of Cambodia-China Friendship Association, H.E. Ek Sam Ol, Cambodian Minister of Cults & Religion, H.E. Chhit Sokhun, Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia, H.E. Wang Wentian, and senior monks from 18 countries and regions in the Pan-South China Sea Region attended the meeting.
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The 2022 Phnom Penh Forum of the South China Sea Buddhism Roundtable Ends with Success, King Sihamoni Meets with Representatives of the South China Sea Buddhism Roundtable (Photo: Business Wire)
During the forum, H.E. Chhit Sokhun delivered a welcome speech, praising the courage and foresight of Master Yin Shun for founding the South China Sea Buddhism Roundtable. Ambassador Wang Wentian extended congratulations on the success of the Forum. President Ek Sam Ol recalled the fond memory of permanently placing the relics of Venerable Master Ben Huan in Wat Prek Prang in Uodong Mountain in Cambodia. The Great Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia, Ven. Tep Vong and the Great Supreme Patriarch of Dhammayuttikanikaya of Cambodia, H.H. Bour Kry, delivered remarks at the forum, praising the contributions made by Master Yin Shun to the promotion of Cambodia-China Buddhist exchanges and charitable assistance.
Master Yin Shun from China reviewed the friendly relations with Cambodia over the past decade and made four recommendations: China and Cambodia should faithfully carry forward their traditional friendship, firmly uphold peaceful development in the South China Sea, vigorously advocate mutual learning among civilizations in the South China Sea, and unswervingly lead the development of South China Sea Buddhism Roundtable. On the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Cambodia and the Year of China-Cambodia Friendship next year, he also said that the Roundtable will jumpstart three undertakings, which include: resuming the program for Cambodian monks affected by the pandemic to study at Nanhai Buddhist Academy; Multiple Buddhist classics translated by Cambodian monks in history will be translated back into Cambodian for them to be re-embraced in the country; Starting to build the framework of the Buddhist history of Cambodia as part of the effort to compile the History of Buddhism in the South China Sea.
Guests from 18 countries and regions, including Mongolia, Myanmar, Thailand, Japan and Nepal, made their Roundtable remarks through physical or virtual participation. A consensus document was read out and a signing ceremony conducted on the Phnom Penh Proposal of the South China Sea Buddhism Roundtable 2022.
The Great Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia, Ven. Tep Vong conferred the honorary title of “Dhamma Santi Nhan Saranaphibala Seri Muny” to Master Yin Shun; and the Great Supreme Patriarch of Dhammayuttikanikaya of Cambodia, H.H. Bour Kry, presented to Master Yin Shun the honor of “General Consultant of ‘Abhisirī Sugandhā Mahāsangharājādhipati'”. These are the highest honor first ever granted to a foreign monk by the religious circle of Cambodia.
On the afternoon of December 15, King Norodom Sihamoni of the Kingdom of Cambodia met with Master Yin Shun and some other guests attending the Phnom Penh Forum at the Grand Palace in Phnom Penh. King Sihamoni expressed his gratitude and congratulations on the convening of the Roundtable in Phnom Penh, saying that he had been friends with Master Yin Shun for many years. He praised Master Yin Shun for his abiding commitment to the communication and interaction between the Cambodian and Chinese people and the Buddhist community. Master Yin Shun thanked King Sihamoni for his support and interest for the Buddhist exchanges between the two countries.
The Phnom Penh Forum of the South China Sea Buddhism Roundtable conducted a blessing ceremony for world peace on the morning of the 14th at Uodong Mountain deemed as a holy Buddhist site in Cambodia. Buddhist monks from around the world recited prayers in front of the Ben Huan Pagoda at Wat Prek Prang. The first stupa to be named after a contemporary Chinese monk overseas, Ben Huan Pagoda is a testament to the profound exchanges between Chinese Buddhism and Southern Buddhism. In 2015, the Kingdom of Cambodia welcomed with the highest decorum the relics placement of the eminent monk of Chinese Buddhism in the newly established stupa.