Thai Ambassador Piyawat Niyomrerks advised local media Wednesday to check their facts before writing unconfirmed stories that could damage Cambodia’s image abroad.
The ambassador’s comments come one day after Thailand called on the Cambodian media to cease reporting unsubstantiated allegations. False reports in Cambodian newspapers that a Thai actress claimed the Angkor Wat temples for Thailand were credited with stoking the fury that led to the Jan 29, 2003 anti-Thai riots.
Tensions flared last week after thousands of garment factory workers alleged that a visiting Thai garment inspector again claimed Angkor Wat for Thailand—a claim both she and the Thai government denied.
“The press should be cautious in presenting news of this nature,” the ambassador said. “It will tarnish the reputation of Cambodia as a country of unsubstantiated facts and rumors.”
The country’s largest Khmer-language newspapers said they were just reporting the news.
“When an event happens, I must write,” said Pen Samithi, editor-in-chief of Rasmei Kampuchea. “But we are careful with articles that involve race issues.”
Long Tha, editor-in-chief of Kampuchea Thmei, said his paper will continue to write about sensitive issues. “We just write what happened,” he said.