Two media outlets censured for allegedly broadcasting or printing false information during Jan 29 anti-Thai riots will restart operations today, officials said on Sunday.
The Rasmei Angkor (Light of Angkor) newspaper and Beehive radio, which each reported $3,000 in lost advertising sales during the two weeks they were not operating, will resume regular broadcasts and printing today, officials from both organizations said.
“We will continue our policy as before,” said En Chan Sivatha, editor in chief of Rasmei Angkor. The editor, who was released from Prey Sar prison on Tuesday, is charged with printing the first story claming that Thai actress Suvanant Kongying said Angkor Wat should be returned to Thailand—a reportedly false story that contributed to the anti-Thai sentiment that fueled the riots.
“Our newspaper will print stories about the inactive government officials and corruption to inform the government so it can take action against those things,” En Chan Sivatha said on Sunday.
Mam Sonando, director and founder of Beehive Radio, said on Sunday that Beehive will broadcast today from 6 am to 10:30 pm.
“Our station will continue to encourage the democratic process and will broadcast true information,” Mam Sonando said.
The Municipal Court of Phnom Penh has charged Mam Sonando with broadcasting reports that the Cambodian Embassy in Bangkok was destroyed on the night of Jan 29—false reports that the government alleges incited people to riot in Phnom Penh and destroy Thai businesses.
Mam Sonando said he is innocent of the charges.
The government halted Beehive’s programming shortly after the riots and replaced it with Cambodian music.
Secretary of State for the Ministry of Information Khieu Kanharith said on Sunday that Rasmei Angkor and Beehive Radio had permission to rebroadcast.
“Both [media outlets] have to respect the journalistic code of ethics and broadcast true information,” Khieu Kanharith said. “They have to check information before they print or broadcast it to ensure it is true.”