S o TVK is not CPP's after all (Letters, PPP, Sept 20-Oct 3). At last we get this
mystery spelled out to us by the Ministry of Information itself. What revelation!
Outsiders and passers-by can be forgiven for surmising that the station belongs to
the CPP. I doubt if local people - who make up the majority of its viewers - are
any the better informed as to who or which political party owns and controls it other
than the CPP.
This unfortunate little confusion should come as no great surprise to anyone given
the fact that the television station in question came into being as the monopoly
and mouthpiece of the former State of Cambodia regime, and whatever its subsequent
technical title and legal status, it could hardly be truly considered "the national
television station of the Royal Government of Cambodia", for this would imply
some degree of impartiality and professional integrity over its agenda-setting and
news content selection.
I know that the Royal Government, just like the nation as a whole, is grappling with
many chronic crises, not all of which are of its making, but I do not believe that
the national interest (however this contentious term is defined) in the immediate,
medium or distant range is served by practising double standards and, to borrow that
West-minster expression, being economical with the truth.
Why, for example, did the Son Sann faction's party 'gatherings' and two separate
grenade attacks on them go unreported by all the national stations, not all of which
were affiliated to any political party? Mr Son Sann is not without his critics but
the picture of this elderly gentleman, probably the sole survivor of his democrat
contemporaries and above all a devout Buddhist who consistently espouses the cause
of non-violence, reduced to frantic prayers in a corner of his house during the hour
of terror, makes for shameful viewing for all decent human-beings.
A tree shall be known by its fruit.
- Marith Pen, London.