Thai TV Star’s Angkor Claims Spark Outrage

A rumor that the star of a popular Thai television series has accused Cambodia of stealing Angkor Wat from Thailand has ignited outrage nationwide, and has prompted Phnom Penh Gover­nor Chea Sophara to call for a national ban on Thai-made programming.

The Khmer press on Monday reported a comment that Kop Supwakun Khunying, who played the lead role in the drama series “Morning Star,” made in a recent interview on Thai TV.

When asked “Who do you hate most in the world?” the actress reportedly replied, “I hate Cam­bo­dia, for stealing my Angkor Wat.”

Kop Supwakun Khunying reportedly went on to say that if any Cambodian promoters invited her to visit or perform in Cam­bodia, the Cambodian government must first agree to return the temples of Angkor to their rightful owner: Thailand.

The unverified story has been repeated on the radio and in the Koh Santepheap (Island of Peace) and Kampuchea Thmei (New Cambodia) newspapers.

At a ceremony in Kompong Cham Monday, Prime Mini­ster Hun Sen denounced the act­ress, commonly known as “Morn­ing Star,” renaming her “Thief Star.”

“Thief Star’s life is not even equal to a patch of grass around Angkor Wat,” Hun Sen said.

“Please, TV5, hurry to stop broadcasting Kop Supwakun Khunying’s current series, be­cause I am afraid people will destroy the TV station,” he added.

Chea Sophara said an investigation into the story will take place, and said in the meantime he has ordered the municipality-controlled TV3 to block all Thai programming. “TV3 must stop broadcasting Thai programs and broadcast Cambodian programs in­stead,” Chea Sophara said.

TV3 must now obtain permission from the municipality for each Thai-made movie or series it shows, he added. The city governor called on the Ministry of Information to issue similar bans to all national TV stations.


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