Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Former Khmer Rouge thirsting for outside news

Former Khmer Rouge thirsting for outside news

Former Khmer Rouge thirsting for outside news

P AILIN - Considering themselves Cambodian citizens with full rights after the split

from the Khmer Rouge hardliners in August, Pailin residents are seeking access to

news featuring life in other parts of Cambodia.

Chan Moeun, 23, said that he wanted Phnom Penh to expand radio and television broadcasts

to Pailin because there was nothing to hear from the KR radio, except for continued

propaganda and denunciations of the DNUM dissidents.

"Please ask the government to increase [radio and TV broadcast] signals to this

place. We want to know how development and life are in Phnom Penh and other parts

of the country," Moeun said.

Before the breakaway, he said the people were under strict bans from reading newspapers

published in Phnom Penh. If anyone was caught doing so they would be accused of serving

"the policy of the puppet government".

Moeun recalled how a friend who worked with UNTAC in Pailin before the election used

to bring him newspapers from Phnom Penh.

He said the friend would fold them in with his clothes to avoid being caught. Once

delivered, he said he had to fold the paper into a small size again and cover it

with a piece of paper while reading.

"We passed it on from one to another until it got mangled and the characters

faded away. We would rewrite them in pen so we could read the newspaper again,"

said Kem Pisei, Moeun's colleague.

Among newspapers they had read, Moeun and Pisei could only remember Reasmei Kampuchea

which they said usually came not in a complete copy, but in torn-out portions that

used to line fruit baskets from markets in Thailand.

"We would put them in the sunlight to dry them. Sometimes, there was news about

other countries, about poverty in Africa. But we wanted to read news about Cambodia,"

Moeun said.

According to Moeun and Pisei, the guerrilla radio is a truck containing equipment

provided to the KR by China.

After Pailin - former home to KR clandestine radio - came under attack three years

ago, the truck was moved to the hardliners' jungle hide-out in Anlong Veng, they

said.

Moeun and Pisei said tunning in to The Voice of America was also illegal, but people

could watch Thai television which was easy to intercept.

"When the word "Khmer" was heard on Thai TV, we would quickly turn

our attention [to the TV] although we didn't really understand what the news was

all about," Moeun said.

"We are in our country but we know more about the neighbors. What a shame,"

he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the