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Kanharith receives honorary doctorate from Thai university

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Minister Khieu Kanharith receives an honorary doctorate from the Rajamangala University of Technology Phra Nakhon (RMUTP) in Thailand’s Pathum Thani province on Wednesday. AKP

Kanharith receives honorary doctorate from Thai university

Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith received an honorary doctorate in journalism, anthropology and social sciences from Rajamangala University of Technology Phra Nakhon (RMUTP) in Thailand for his active participation in the information sector and the beneficial work he has done for Cambodia.

The doctorate degree was presented to him by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on March 8 at a ceremony in Thailand’s Pathum Thani province.

In a press release, the information ministry said the doctorate degrees were awarded by the university for Kanharith’s “contributions to peace, national reconciliation and political stability” through the use of the art of information dissemination and political communication along with many other achievements in Cambodia.

Sat Dara, a former Cambodian student at RMUTP, said the degree was presented from the Thai side after evaluating five main criteria.

These include his advocacy to solve the problems between Cambodia and Thailand on the border in both domestic and international talks; his communications on all political crises in Cambodia with the Thai side while helping to ease the tensions and bring about consensus; his effective leadership of the information ministry for many years; his kindness towards the poor, disabled and those affected by disaster as part of his devout Buddhism; and the trust and respect given to him personally by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Kanharith said at the ceremony that it was an honour for him to be awarded the degrees and it positively highlighted the efforts of Cambodia and the ministry to foster knowledge among the people as well as build friendships between their two countries.

“The honorary doctorate degree that I received also reflect the contribution of all my colleagues who have worked with me and helped with building the nation and the motherland of Cambodia,” he said.

Moeun Chhean Nariddh, a professor of media at the university, congratulated Kanharith, saying that the minister deserved the honorary doctorate in journalism because of his experience and knowledge in that sector.

He added that Kanharith has not only acted as the information minister and coordinated the guarantee of press freedom in Cambodia, but also actively assisted journalists by making information from government officials flow more rapidly.

“We acknowledge that [Kanharith] has greatly contributed to the promotion of freedom of the press and raised awareness of its importance to democracy in various ministries and departments. That led many institutions [in Cambodia] to now have spokespersons to respond to the media. The minister’s work of more than 42 years is worthy of these honorary doctorate degree,” he said.

Nop Vy, executive director of the Cambodian Journalists Alliance (CamboJa), agreed that the honorary doctorate degree was well-deserved by Khanarith for his work in the information sector that began when he was a journalist and continued through today as information minister.

“I personally offer my congratulations to him on receiving this honorary doctorate degree because it is based on an evaluation of the merits of the recipient. He deserves this honour. Additionally, awards and degrees like this help encourage the younger generation of journalists to work hard and know that their efforts won’t go unnoticed or be in vain,” he said.

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