Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Past Post: PM to give Global Witness the boot

Past Post: PM to give Global Witness the boot

Past Post: PM to give Global Witness the boot

090210_06.jpg
090210_06.jpg

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY

Vol. 10; No. 3

February 2- 15 2001

PRIME Minister Hun Sen has blasted the environmental monitors Global Witness (GW), threatening to expel the organisation from Cambodia.

Hun Sen's threats came in the wake of a GW report presented to the government and donors at the January 29 Consultative Group meeting in Phnom Penh.

The report said illegal logging, on a massive scale, has resumed in Cambodia and the government is losing much-needed revenue.

At a January 31 speech at the Ministry of Interior, Hun Sen questioned GW's agenda in Cambodia.

"I feel that the [GW criticisms] are a politically motivated defamation of the honour of local authorities and the competence of the government," said the prime minister.

"Maybe [Global Witness] thought that because of my promise [to stop illegal logging] in front of the United Nations, if it is shown that I am not able to curb illegal logging, then I will have to step down as prime minister during the first three months of 2001."

A spokesperson for GW, Jon Buckrell, told the Post the organisation does not have a political agenda and acknowledges the prime minister's support in reforming Cambodia's forestry sector.

"In the press release issued prior to the post-CG meeting, Global Witness said, ‘Under Hun Sen's leadership the possibility of forestry reform has become a reality. The RGC's commitment to preservation of the central Cardamoms, and to the concept of forestry reform, has been amazing over the past year.' Clearly, Global Witness' sole motivation is the preservation of Cambodia's forests, not to get involved in politics," said Buckrell.

Hun Sen also attacked the veracity of GW's forest crime investigations and complained that GW gave information about their investigations to the media before informing the government.

"We will take action, but the information we receive from Global Witness is always wrong," said the prime minister.

MOST VIEWED

  • EU officials: Ending EBA an 18-month procedure

    EU officials have confirmed that it will take a total of 18 months to complete the procedure if Cambodia’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) trade agreement is to be withdrawn. According to EU Agriculture and Rural Development spokesman Daniel Rosario, the formal process has not

  • IPU slams government claim

    The president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Gabriela Cuevas Barron, has refuted a claim by the National Assembly that she “highly appreciated the achievements of Cambodia” in its July national elections with a tweet saying “Of course not!” before adding “No congratulations”. A delegation from

  • Conflict lingers on Paris Accords

    As the Kingdom prepares to commemorate on October 23 the 27th anniversary of the signing of the 1991 Paris Peace Accords, which ushered in an end to nearly two decades of civil war, there is political conflict on whether the tenets of the agreement are still being

  • EU agrees VN trade deal despite rights concerns

    The EU on Wednesday agreed to a free-trade agreement (FTA) with Vietnam, a country described as having a “major rights-abusing government”. This comes amid the 28-nation bloc preparing the procedure for a possible withdrawal of Cambodia’s Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential trade agreement on