>Government Threatens To Close The Cambodia Daily If It Is Still Stubborn

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20th May 2008
By Chea Makara Radio Free Asia
Translated by Khmerization

A government official said that the government has warned The Cambodia Daily that it faces closure if it defies the government’s order to stop publishing The Burma Daily Supplement.

Minister of Information, Mr. Khieu Kanharith (pictured), who is also a government spokesperson, said that he has sent a letter to the publisher of The Cambodia Daily, Mr. Bernard Krisher, requesting him to stop publishing The Burma Daily Supplement.

Mr. Khieu Kanharith said that The Cambodia Daily had violated Cambodian laws by publishing The Burma Daily Supplement without authorisation from the Ministry of Information.

Mr Khieu Kanharith said: “Today we sent a letter (to Bernard Krisher). If tomorrow he still publishes The Burma Daily Supplement, we will suspend The Cambodia Daily. We have too many English-language newspapers already. According to Cambodian laws he has to ask for permission from the Ministry of Information before publishing The Burma Daily. In fact The Burma Daily is not a supplement of The Cambodia Daily because it has a separate logo.”

Radio Free Asia has contacted the editor of The Cambodia Daily, Mr. Kevin Doyle, but he has refused to make any comments. And the publisher of The Cambodia Daily, Mr. Bernard Krisher, did not answer a Radio Free Asia’s email.

However, Mr. Bernard Krisher has said in a published article in The Cambodia Daily that the purpose for the publication of The Burma Daily Supplement is to promote the press freedom in Burma.

He said that the confiscations of The Burma Daily Supplement is a violation of the freedom of the press in Cambodia. And he chastised the Cambodian government for suppressing this Cambodian newspaper at the request of the Burmese government.

The Cambodian government has ordered the confiscations of The Burma Daily Supplement on the 19th of May on pretext that the publications affect the Cambodian-Burmese relations, after the supplements went on the newsstand on Friday.

Despite the confiscations, The Cambodia Daily still publishes The Burma Daily Supplement up until Tuesday.

A newsstand owner, who wish to remain anonymous, has told Radio Free Asia that up until Tuesday the authority still confiscates The Burma Daily Supplement from the newsstand. She said: “They came and asked to confiscate The Burma Daily Supplement but still allow us to sell The Cambodia Daily as normal.”

In relation to the confiscations of The Burma Daily Supplement, the Cambodian Journalists Club issued a statement on Monday saying that it will conduct a professional investigation by paying close attention to this case in order to ensure that freedom of the press in Cambodia is respected. //

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