I am writing to inform you of my considerable surprise at the article [Letter
to the editor] entitled "Western Corruption" which appeared in your edition
of Nov 15-28 1996 under my name and was of a somewhat convoluted nature. I am neither
interested nor involved in this type of judgmental opinion, nor am I its author.
A newspaper such as yours, with serious claims to publishing information worthy of
public readership, should at least take care to check the authenticity of such information
and above all the source of such information before publishing it.
The fact that your newspaper published an article, fraudulently under my name, when
I am not the author, leads me to insist and demand that you enlighten me as to the
origin of that letter and prove to me that this article was written by my hand with
my own signature. I also insist and demand that a denial be made public through your
newspaper. Failing this, I shall be obliged to lodge a formal complaint against your
newspaper for defamation of my character and for misleading public opinion. I will
hold you responsible for this with all the consequences that may result from your
- Lamhien Samreth, Provincial Program Manager, CARERE/UNDP Battambang.
(Unofficial translation from the French)
Editor replies: The Phnom Penh Post deeply regrets the inconvenience and/or embarrassment
caused to Mr Samreth for what we have now learned was a fraudelent letter submitted
under his name. We extend to Mr Samreth our sincerest apologies. The type-written
letter was received through the postal system and a copy of the signed letter has
been forwarded to UNDP for their examination. The Post is willing to cooperate with
the proper authorities to conduct a full investigation as to who was the culprit
in this case.
To the best of our knowledge, this was the first instance of a forged letter having
been received by the Post in the four years and four months of our existence. We
will use this tragic experience as a lesson to increase our vigilence concerning
the origin and accuracy of subsequent letters we receive for publication.