Maha Sangharajah Thipati Bour Kry
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Born in Battambang, Cambodia in 1945, Venerable Bour Kry became a monk in 1963. After spending some years as Secretary of the Provincial Spiritual Authority in Battambang, he headed a monastery near the Thai-Cambodian border. Following the Khmer Rouge takeover in 1975, he fled to France where he was a leader of the Cambodian community in exile, founding the Khmer Buddhist Association in Paris in 1977 and a monastery near Paris. He established the International Buddhist Assistance in 1982, a humanitarian organization that supported refugees in the camps in South East Asia. In 1987 then King Norodom Sihanouk, nominated him as Samdech Preah Ang Krou (Spiritual Eminence Master) and in 1991 he was appointed by King Sihanouk as head of the Dhammayuttika Nikaya Order as Samdech Preah Abhisiri Sugandha Mahasangharaja Dhipati (the Great Supreme Patriarch of Dhammayutt Order of Kingdom of Cambodia). Since the 1991 Paris Peace Accords, the Supreme Patriarch has worked in Cambodia to revive monastic life and rebuild monasteries and Buddhist schools which were deserted during the decades of war and deprivation, and the complete dissolution of the Cambodian Buddhist Sangha. He offers a Buddhist contribution to government development policies, especially for rural development, education, HIV and AIDS, and environment. He has also supported Buddhist efforts to combat drug use and cigarette smoking. The Patriarch has participated in many international interfaith activities including the year 2000 White House summit on HIV/AIDS in Washington DC.