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Outspoken health official protests at dismissal from post

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A former Pailin provincial health department official has been dismissed on March 19 after posting a message on Facebook regarding issues at Covid-19 quarantine centres which allegedly incited discontent and disrupted internal unity. Facebook

Outspoken health official protests at dismissal from post

A former Pailin provincial health department official who has been dismissed after posting Facebook messages accusing officials from other departments of inaction amid the community outbreak of Covid-19 has lodged a protest with the ministries of Health and Civil Service.

Pailin governor Ban Sreymom on March 19 issued a letter of dismissal to Khem Monykosal, citing professional misconduct.

The termination came after Monykosal took to social media criticising officials at quarantine centres in the province.

“Distribution of food should not be the responsibility of the medical staff alone. Officials from relevant departments should contribute and not just go there and sit around posting photos of themselves at the centre just to show off on Facebook,” one of the posts said.

Monykosal told The Post on March 24 after lodging a complaint to the ministries that what he had said on social media was just an expression of his views and feelings he had experienced and wanted to find a solution.

“I submitted this complaint seeking justice because I was wrongfully sacked. It doesn’t seem to be legally correct. I want experts who are in the [medical] profession and the [health] ministry to look into this and reinstate me,” he said.

Sreymom declined to comment. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine could not be reached for comment on March 24.

Civil service ministry spokesman Chhoeun Bunnarath told The Post: “I can say that this work is in the hands of the sub-national administration and I haven’t seen any formal letter.

“I will ask my administration department and if there is a complaint, the ministry will take action. But I can’t give an answer yet.”

Yin Mengly, Battambang-Pailin provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, told The Post on March 24 that Monykosal had been criticised by authorities about the posts. He said it was not illegal and was merely a matter of expression.

“Is it necessary to take action against him for the [Facebook] posts? Did the authorities research the posts to see if they are true or not? Does this amount to an incitement?” he said.

Mengly hoped that the two ministries would seek justice for Monykosal.

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