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Author plans stupa to mark fallen journalists

Author plans stupa to mark fallen journalists

AN Australian author and former journalist plans to build a memorial stupa in Phnom Penh for journalists who died between 1970 and 1979, he told the Post on Wednesday.

Carl Robinson, who covered Southeast Asia as a journalist during the 1970s, said the idea behind the project was to remind future generations of the 24 local and foreign journalists who have died on the job in Cambodia.

“We have been thinking of building memorial stupas for journalists in three countries – China, Vietnam and Cambodia,” he said, but added that Cambodia was chosen as the first site due to bureaucratic difficulties in the other countries.

Robinson said he was still awaiting a reply to a formal proposal laying out plans to construct the monument in the capital.

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said he has had similar ideas in the past, but that Prime Minister Hun Sen and municipal authorities would need to scrutinise the plans before they can go ahead.

Robinson said he also plans to initiate an annual three-day gathering for Cambodian journalists, hopefully in April 2010.

“We want them to have a chance to pray to the spirits of deceased journalists and to discuss the general situation of their country,” he said.

Chhay Sophal, a training and education officer from the Club of Cambodian Journalists, said the meeting could be a good opportunity for older
journalists to mix with their younger colleagues.

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