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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Govt slams Global Witness statement

Govt slams Global Witness statement

THE Cambodian government last week dismissed a statement by environmental watchdog Global Witness (GW) that criticised the government for its poor management of the nation's potentially vast oil and mineral resources.

"It is naive for Global Witness to think Cambodia's international donors are not aware of their ill-intent to damage Cambodia's economic development," the Cambodian embassy in London wrote in a press release.

Global Witness made a scathing attack on the government in a statement, dated November 25, on rampant asset-stripping and graft in the country's oil and mining sectors.

The statement comes as donor countries gear up for a meeting in Phnom Penh from Wednesday to Friday to decide on next year's aid budget allocation, which last year amounted to around US$600 million.

Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith told the Post that the government is not worried about the impact of the GW statement, claiming it was "just a political statement in support of the opposition party" to express anger over the government's cancellation of GW's forest-monitoring contract.

The government intends to take a leading role in managing potential revenues from the newly discovered oil and gas reserves, the London embassy's press release said. 

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