About 300 tuk-tuk and moto-taxi drivers protested outside the Phnom Penh offices of the Angkor Thom newspaper on Sunday morning, demanding that it correct an article about a traffic accident involving one of the drivers, according to a union official and the newspaper’s publisher.
The newspaper’s publisher acknowledged it made a mistake, and said it would republish an accurate report of the crash.
The drivers protested at Angkor Thom’s Meanchey district offices from 10 a.m. to midday, angered by an article published Saturday suggesting a tuk-tuk driver caused an accident with a car then extorted its owner, said Soth Menghy, protocol director for the Cambodia for Confederation Development Association (CCDA).
“Our CCDA tuk-tuk drivers and motodops started a protest and negotiated with the Angkor Thom newspaper to ask them to correct some points they wrote about our colleague’s accident on Friday night,” Mr. Menghy said.
“We want the Angkor Thom newspaper to explain what they wrote, and we asked them to not… publish news that is not right.”
Mr. Menghy said the driver of the car—whom he accused of being drunk—had, in fact, caused the accident with the tuk-tuk driver, who was driving his personal motorbike at the time, and also denied the claims of extortion.
Toeung Chanrin, 35, who was the subject of the article, said on Sunday that a Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck crashed into his Honda Scoopy motorbike while he was driving with his pregnant wife.
“The driver was drunk and smelled of alcohol. My motorbike was ruined and my wife was sent to the hospital,” Mr. Chanrin said.
“He first gave me $100 to close the case, but I said that my motorbike was ruined and my wife was sent to the hospital. Then he gave me $100 more. I did not ask for that money,” he said.
“I asked the newspaper to make a public apology.”
Angkor Thom publisher Touch Sophorn acknowledged that his newspaper made a mistake, and said it would issue a correction and also publish an accurate report of the accident.
“It was a technical problem and the use of strong words,” he said. “We will make a correction as they want, and we will publish [the story] again on Tuesday.”