The Ministry of Information has suspended the pro-Lon Nol era newspaper the Republic News for 30 days for insulting King Norodom Sihanouk, Information Minister Lu Laysreng said Wednesday.
The order, issued Tuesday, comes after many warnings and a previous suspension three years ago. The minister warned this suspension was temporary but said he will have it closed permanently if the paper continues to break the law.
A copy of the suspension order states that the paper violated the Constitution by criticizing the King but does not mention the specific news articles that led to the suspension.
But Lu Laysreng said the paper has repeatedly used the Lon Nol-era flag on its masthead and published articles insulting the 77-year-old monarch. An article yesterday, which referred to the King only by his name, Sihanouk, without using his family name prompted the latest suspension, the minister said. “He never listens, that guy,” Lu Laysreng said of the paper’s editor, Lim Rattana. “No cooperation.”
The paper was suspended in 1996 for similar reasons.