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Diplomat calls for end to GW funding

THE Cambodian ambassador to the United Kingdom has called for international donors to withdraw their funding of global corruption watchdog Global Witness until it adopts a more "responsible" attitude.

"For far too long Global Witness has been getting away with presenting totally false information as facts," Ambassador Hor Nambora said Friday in a statement from London.

"It's time the international community made a stand against Global Witness by refusing to fund the organisation and banning visits by its representatives."

Hun Sen visited the UK to attend the graduation of his son in Bristol on Thursday.

The ambassador's comments followed the release of a statement Wednesday by Global Witness calling on the British government to revoke the visa of Prime Minister Hun Sen, citing "mounting international criticism over increasing levels of institutionalised corruption, repression and human rights abuse in Cambodia".

"Hun Sen's regime has presided over a process of grand corruption which has seriously undermined poverty alleviation in Cambodia, but Europe and the UK continue to welcome him and his entourage," Global Witness campaigner Eleanor Nichol said in the statement.

Global Witness has been a persistent thorn in the government's side, making headlines in June 2007 when its "Family Trees" report - alleging widespread involvement of senior government officials in illegal logging - was banned in Cambodia. The organisation's staff have been barred from the country since 2005.

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