Thai Ambassador Scolds Cambodian Media

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.


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