Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodian envoy raps BBC report

Cambodian envoy raps BBC report

Cambodian envoy raps BBC report

The Cambodian ambassador to the United Kingdom has lashed out at the BBC over a recent radio documentary that explored foreign investment in Cambodia and the pilfering of land from rural communities.

In a letter sent yesterday to BBC Radio 4, Ambassador Hor Nambora said the broadcast gave a “superficial appearance of being unbiased” but that its intention was to “discredit the Royal Government of Cambodia and sully its reputation”.

Hor Nambora said the documentary bore an “uncomfortable similarity” to accusations levelled against the Cambodian government by Global Witness, a London-based international watchdog.

“One can only hope that the BBC has not been misled by this politically-motivated and discredited body which seems to specialise in spouting ever more irresponsible statements and misinformation,” the letter read.

The radio programme, titled “Cambodia: Country for Sale,” looked at the Kingdom’s boom in foreign investment and its repercussions in rural areas. A BBC website article that accompanied the documentary said, “stories are filtering in from the country’s most impoverished farmers who tell of fear, violence and intimidation as private companies team up with armed police to force them from their land”.

In his letter, Hor Nambora highlighted how the government is speeding the process of land registration, saying that “more than two million such land deeds have been dispatched”.

The Cambodian Ambassador’s comments are just the latest in a long series of attacks against Global Witness and the BBC. In 2009 he derided a BBC report on land disputes as “extremely one-sided”, and has lobbed similar criticisms at journalists from The Guardian and The Financial Times.

In April, Hor Nambora issued a statement condemning Global Witness after the watchdog said a US$28 million payment made by a French oil company for exploration rights lacked transparency.

MOST VIEWED

  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Rights Day forum denied in Sihanoukville

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration last Saturday denied the request of land communities for a public location in the province to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2019 as the administration had already held forums to discuss land issues. However, the land community representatives said they would

  • Gov’t approves $9B worth of building projects in 2019

    The government has approved more than $9 billion this year for capital investment in the construction sector, a nearly 80 per cent increase on last year, with most of the growth coming from projects in Sihanoukville, according to Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea

  • PP residents urged to use public transport

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol has urged Phnom Penh residents to use the capital’s existing public transport services rather than private vehicles, as it is leading to increased traffic congestion. He also called for the city’s public bus system to

  • Kingdom calls on Japan to increase number of direct flights to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh

    Cambodia is requesting Japan to increase the number of direct flights from Japanese cities and provinces to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, so as to contribute to increasing cooperation and tourist numbers between the two countries. During the opening ceremony of 3rd Japan Travel Fair

  • Sierra Leone potential new market for export of Cambodian milled rice

    Sierra Leone plans to import milled rice from Cambodia for domestic consumption. The request was made when the visiting Sierra Leone Ambassador to China Ernest Ndomahina met Cambodian Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak on Wednesday at the ministry. Ndomahina said his country’s agricultural sector