With reference to "Let the Majority Prevail" (Comment, Oct. 22 - Nov. 4)
, Le Mekong came into being because, in this part of the world (Thailand, Cambodia,
Laos, Vietnam), a considerable number of people read French.
The simple fact of publishing in French is, for us, a modest contribution showing
our sympathy for the Francophone cause. For the rest, we are journalists, not militants.
Moreover, we do not need lessons about being independent from anyone.
In last month's Phnom Penh Post, Beat Gruninger made what he thought was an artful
reference to something we wrote and I quote from our paper: "les dizaines d'étudiants
de l'Institut de Technologie qui ont manifesté pour avoir plus de moyens pour
He then concludes, as it were, that we are the "strong arm" (just with
a pen?) of some gigantic world-wide Francophone plot.
Le Mekong apologizes to its readers for having confused, at the moment of going to
press, dozens with hundreds of people.
When other press colleagues mix up hundreds with thousands, it would never occur
to us that they were really out to propagate Shakespearian English!
As far as the grievances of the students are concerned, a more serious journalistic
effort rather than a cavalier reference to so-called Neo-Colonialism (rather contemptuous
of a sovereign people after 40 years of independence), would reveal that the issue
is much more complicated than one would like to think (cf Le Mekong Nov. issue),
even if we are perfectly willing to admit that the majority of young Cambodians would
rather learn English than French.
- Marc Victor, Editor-in-Chief, Le Mekong