Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ABC feuding with RFA



ABC feuding with RFA

ABC feuding with RFA

Local broadcaster ABC Radio launched a bizarre campaign against Radio Free Asia (RFA) yesterday, accusing the US-funded radio station of requesting that the United States demand the repayment of Lon Nol-era debts owed by the Cambodian government.

The campaign by the station – which has courted controversy before – included driving around in a truck emblazoned with a slogan alleging that RFA “supports the US to ask money from Cambodians”.

“We want our Khmer People to join peaceful protests against RFA Khmer,” an ABC presenter announced in a broadcast live-streamed on Facebook.

In the stream, the station justified the broadside by pointing to an article posted on January 21 in which RFA paraphrases analyst Meas Ny as saying that “as long as the US still considers Cambodia’s democracy as backward . . . the debt cancellation . . . will not be considered by the new US president”.

Cambodia owes about $445 million for debts incurred during the Lon Nol regime’s losing war against the Khmer Rouge.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has repeatedly requested the cancellation of the debt, most recently to new US President Donald Trump. He said at the time he was being “charitable” by not asking for reparations for the 2.75 million tonnes of ordnance the US dropped on Cambodia from 1965 to 1973.

Director of the Cambodian Institute for Media Studies Moeun Chhean Nariddh said that in the 1990s pro-government media and pro-opposition media often attacked each other, but those hostilities had cooled.

“What ABC Radio did is not according to the duty of professional journalists,” he said.

ABC Radio owner Seng Bunveng, known as Aja A, could not be reached. RFA’s Chi Vita said the station was awaiting an official response from their US headquarters.

David Josar, deputy spokesman at the US Embassy, said the US would like to resolve the matter of the debts, but “additional discussions are needed before we are able to move forward”.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • Koh Preus upgrades 70% complete

    Initial construction of a nearly $30 million tourism infrastructure project on Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Preus Island is “about 70 per cent complete”, according to an official with the developer. Heng Thou, construction site manager of Angela Real Estate Co Ltd (ARE), told The Post that

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he