The Burma Daily Insert Confiscated for 2nd Day

For the second day in a row, the Ministry of Information ordered copies of The Burma Daily insert inside The Cambodia Daily confiscated Tuesday.

Information Minister and government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said Tuesday he could not accept the publication of The Burma Daily, which does not have permission to be published and stands to negatively affect relations with the closed mil­itary state of Burma.

If The Cambodia Daily does not follow orders, Khieu Kanharith said, he would suspend the publication and take the case to court.

“By persisting to publish The Bur­ma Daily, Cambodia Daily shows its disdain to the laws and regulations of the Kingdom, an act inacceptable here,” Khieu Kan­ha­rith wrote by e-mail Tuesday.

Newsstand vendor Bun Ny, 38, said Tuesday that police were waiting at her stand at streets 51 and 184 when her delivery of The Cambodia Daily arrived about 8 am Tuesday morning.

“Police took away The Burma Daily…. It was very ugly,” she said, adding that officials had never be­fore removed anything from her stand.

A vendor on the corner of Si­hanouk Boulevard and Street 51 who asked not to be named said that police were polite when they confiscated The Burma Daily insert Monday morning, but “grabbed the middle Burma section” Tuesday morning.

Cambodia Daily publisher Ber­nard Krisher maintained Tuesday that The Burma Daily does not require its own license, given the fact that it is simply a supplement issued within The Cambodia Daily for a limited time aimed at providing the Burmese people with objective information.

“I consider it an illegal confiscation,” he said by telephone.

Krisher declined to comment on threats to suspend The Cambodia Daily, which has never missed a day of publication since its inception in August 1993, but said that he would address that situation should it arise.

As of today, The Burma Daily will no longer be available within The Cambodia Daily, but will instead be available by download at www.­ burma­­ free of charge, Krisher said, adding that the swift transition to online publication was part of his initial plan and that he made no changes based on the government’s strong reaction.

“They are getting what they want, but it is not a reaction to what they want,” he said.

Khieu Kanharith said Tuesday that an online publication would be permitted.

“It’s online; it’s OK,” he said.

The Cambodian Center for Human Rights issued a statement Tuesday condemning the confiscation as a reflection of “the government’s strict policy toward press freedom” and calling for the government to “uphold press freedom enshrined in several international treaties and/or covenants to which Cambodia is a signatory.”

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