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

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • Four-pillar approach in reopening of tourism: PM

    Cambodia is drawing up a four-strategy approach to promptly restore domestic and international tourism activity and put the industry on a transition pathway to a sustainable and inclusive model that is resistant to future crises, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen. The prime minister made

  • Airline says ready for green light to reopen international tourism

    Sky Angkor Airline Co Ltd on September 21 said it is ready to transport South Korean and Chinese tourists to the Kingdom once the Cambodian government makes good on plans to reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers. The Siem Reap-based airline made the remark during a

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Cambodian bride ‘badly treated, held captive’ by Chinese man seeks help

    A Cambodian woman who travelled to China to marry a Chinese man there was “badly treated” by her husband’s family and then had to be rescued and will be returned to Cambodia to ensure her safety. The rescue operation came about after the 25-year-old