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TV5 programming wins over PM

PRIME Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday praised TV5 for increasing its coverage of the military, two days after he threatened to sever the television station’s ties with the Ministry of Defence for failing to support the troops.

“I would like to compliment TV5 … after [I] criticised it.…Yesterday was wonderful, its programme was full of shows about the military,” Hun Sen said during the close of National Cultural Day at Chaktomuk Theatre on Wednesday.

Speaking to Royal Cambodian Armed Forces soldiers in Battambang province on Saturday, Hun Sen blasted TV5 for broadcasting little about the military despite displaying the RCAF logo and name.

He singled out General Neang Phat, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Defence and the director of TV5, for failing to advance the interests of the military. He also ordered TV5 to stop using the RCAF name and logo.

On Wednesday, though, he said he would not force the station to withdraw the logo if it continued to air more military-related programming.

Neang Phat said Wednesday he agreed with Hun Sen that the station had not broadcast enough about the military.

“It is right that Samdech [Hun Sen] criticised the station.... We accept that we did not [broadcast enough about the military] before,” he said, adding that the station had responded immediately to the criticism by sharply increasing its coverage of military-related shows.

“We will keep increasing broadcast about military,” he said.

The premier said that he has three televisions in his home, and that one would be constantly tuned to TV5 so that he could keep track of how much military-related programming the station is broadcasting.

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