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Ownership of TVK

Ownership of TVK

The Editor,

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.

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