The owner of Sambok Khmom Radio (Beehive Radio), Mam Sonando, has launched a newspaper, The Sonando News.
Monday’s first edition appeared to be a compilation of stories from the Khmer-language press during the last several days, and included a welcome letter from Mam Sonando.
Mam Sonando, although often critical of the government, got permission from the Ministry of Information to operate the newspaper, Information Minister Lu Laysreng said. Lu Laysreng said he had not read the paper yet.
Mam Sonando was forced to close his radio station temporarily in September 1998, after he angered the government by covering a spate of rice-wine poisonings and calling the election results fraudulent. He reopened the station six months later.
Lu Laysreng on Monday remained critical of the print press, which he characterized as “amateur” and accused of often printing inaccurate information.
Lu Laysreng said Cambodia’s press law is too broad and blamed this for the large number of papers in the country and the difficulty in regulating them. He claimed that 200 newspapers are being printed in the country.