Grimy Guru

In August 2003, Cambodian police detained the eccentric self-styled Buddhist guru Kampuchea Roth after he wrote a "strange" letter to Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk. Interior ministry spokesman Chhay Sinarith was later asked why Roth, though never charged, had been detained for two days. Police, Sinarith explained, wanted to ask him about more than the letter: "We also wanted to know why he didn't wash for 60 years."

[In January 2004, a British Buddhist named Edward James had to obtain permission from Rochford district council to meditate cross-legged in trees on land which he had recently purchased by the Crouch estuary in Essex because he was deemed to be changing the area's use from woodland to "meditation woodland." James said he was delighted by the decision but found the planning process "ridiculous."]

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