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Thayer not the problem

The Editor,

The letter to the editor (June 16 - 29, Phnom Penh Post,

"Positive or Nothing") criticizes Nate Thayer for being "Mr Negative" of

Cambodia. I am shocked. The objective of my letter is not to defend Mr Thayer

but rather in response to Sao Volak's attitude toward the current Cambodian

issues and foreign journalists.

Sao Volak is an intellectual but has

rather childish views and is shortsighted.

I too have read the works of

Mr Thayer and other journalists about the situation in Cambodia. I understand

the positive and negative, the constructive and destructive reports very well.

They are just reports on events created by others. Mr Thayer has chosen to use

his skills to inform the public about Cambodian issues and almost all of the

situations in Cambodia today are not very rosy. Everywhere we look there are

challenges: corruption, human rights, social, economic, political and security

issues. What do we want Mr Thayer to say about Cambodia? Should he say he is

positive that the situation in Cambodia is negative? The truth hurts. We must

accept the facts.

Sao Volak says that Mr Thayer "never liked the

Cambodian ruling system because of some elements from the former communist State

of Cambodia". Is Volak asking Mr Thayer not to care about Cambodia and let it be

isolated so that its leaders can rule with the support of "all the constructive

critics". Does Volak mean that Cambodian leaders should be surrounded by

"Yes-men"? Does Volak mean that Cambodia must be ruled unchecked by the current

authorities. Is it healthy to give any government blank checks?

Sao Volak

contradicted him/herself in claiming to hate communism, authoritarianism,

corruption and violations of human rights and freedom of speech, while

appreciating the performance of the present government. According to the track

record of this administration, the above statement is laughable but confusing.

Sao Volak supports freedom of expression but wants to stop Mr Thayer from

exercising his rights of free speech.

Mr Thayer has the right to question

the world communities whether they should pour more money into a country of

little strategic and economic interest if it's government is not interested in

democracy, and we should be grateful, for he is doing so to benefit the

Cambodian people in the long run.

I personally congratulate Mr Thayer and

other reporters for their courage to speak their minds. It is not easy to tell

the truth about Cambodia. Any attempts to suppress reporters from doing their

job is not only unacceptable, but could be a time bomb for the present

government and Cambodia. I might not like what Mr Thayer has to say, but I will

defend his right to say it. I do not believe that Mr Thayer or any other foreign

journalists are seeking to destroy Cambodia, but are merely reporting the

results of the Cambodian leaders accomplishments. We don't need Yes-men. The

real enemies of Cambodia are not the reporters.

- Name withheld, New York.

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