See More on Facebook

Current affairs

Cambodia government allows Voice of America to open a representative bureau

The country came under criticism for press censorship leading up to its last election.


Written by

Updated: June 6, 2019

The Cambodian Ministry of Information agreed to allow Voice of America (VoA) to open its representative office.

The Ministry of Information agreed in principle on Thursday to allow Voice of America (VoA) to open its representative office in Cambodia. Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith took to his Facebook, saying he had a meeting with Michael Newbill, Charge d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh, and deputy director for operations at the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM), Matthew Walsh.

The minister noted that the latter came “to learn about the press situation in Cambodia and to discuss the opening of VoA representative office in the Kingdom”.

The US embassy spokesman in Phnom Penh, Arend Zwartjes, confirmed that the officials had agreed on a roadmap for registering VoA and Radio Free Asia (RFA) in Cambodia.

Zwartjes said via email: “Our hope is that both VoA and RFA will soon be allowed to register and once again broadcast in Cambodia.”

Kanharith had agreed in principle with VoA opening a representative office in the Kingdom, spokesperson for the Ministry of Information Meas Sophorn told The Post on Thursday.

He said the US counterpart would have to submit a registration application as required. “We have clarified with them that every registration of a legal representative must follow procedures as stated in law and the legal procedure related to an office registration.”

“The US counterpart was informed about that matter and they accepted our advice. They will return the registration application file to the ministry soon,” Sophorn said.

He stressed that the government is “promoting freedom of the press and speech”. “If they have a representative office in Cambodia, they could fulfil their work as other news agencies,” Sophorn said.

Shut down in 2017

In August 2017, more than 30 radio stations which rented airtime to the now-defunct Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), VOA and Radio Free Asia (RFA) were shut down.

RFA closed its operation in Cambodia in September 2017, claiming that a crackdown on the media had made it impossible to continue operations in the Kingdom.

After its closing, two RFA reporters were arrested and charged with “illegally collecting information for a foreign source”.

They were released on bail after the general elections last year, in which the ruling Cambodian People’s Party won all 125 seats in the National Assembly.

 



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Phnom Phen Post
About the Author: The Phnom Penh Post is the oldest existing independent newspaper in any language in Cambodia and has been the paper of record on the country's current events for 25 years.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Current affairs

SAARC turns 35 but has very little to show for its age

The regional bloc of seven South Asian countries and Afghanistan has largely been held hostage to the rivalry between India and Pakistan, say analysts. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation might have turned 35 but its three-and-a-half decades of existence has largely failed to advance its own central tenet—regional cooperation. As SAARC marked its 35th anniversary with a flurry of congratulatory messages from heads of government, expressing their commitment to regional cooperation, many analysts and diplomats wonder if these promises will ever translate into action. The regional association has failed to hold its 19th summit, ever since 2016 when India sud


By The Kathmandu Post
December 9, 2019

Current affairs

Why Hong Kong residents turned out in record numbers to vote

Many say events of past 5 months galvanised their desire to exercise their democratic right. Amid mild autumn weather and under a clear blue sky in Lek Yuen, the oldest public housing estate in Hong Kong’s Sha Tin, a snaking queue formed outside the community hall shortly after dawn yesterday. It was the constituency’s polling station of the day, and hundreds were in the line before the opening time of 7.30am to vote for their district councillor, one of the lowest rungs of Hong Kong’s elected offices. The scene was repeated across the territory’s 18 districts, where nearly three million people showed up to vote in elections that are usually a quiet affair, with chosen officials confined to dealing with noise complaints and local infrastructure improvement projects. The officials, however, also represent 117 of the 1,200-strong Election Committee that chooses the city̵


By The Straits Times
November 25, 2019

Current affairs

Nearly 1,000 China nationals nabbed in Malaysia

They are believed to be online scam workers. Malaysian authorities have nabbed nearly 1,000 China nationals who were believed to be working in the country with an online scam syndicate, local media reported. The bust on Wednesday (Nov 20) by the Immigration Department in Cyberjaya was the biggest conducted this year, Bernama news agency said. On its Facebook, department said the raid was conducted at the syndicate’s headquarters in Cyberjaya. Immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud said the syndicate was operating from a six-storey building in Cyberjaya, a high-technology zone located about an hour south of Kuala Lumpur. The raid was the end result of a month’s worth of surveillance, following complaints from the public. The office was well secured, with guards stationed at each floor and rooms only being accessible with access cards, The Star reported.


By The Straits Times
November 22, 2019

Current affairs

MH17 probe releases new phone calls linking suspects to top Russians

With contributions by AFP. A Dutch-led probe into the shooting-down of flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014 released new intercepted phone calls on Thursday (Nov 14) between high-ranking Russian officials and suspects facing trial over the crash. Investigators said they were making a “new witness appeal” based on “recorded telephone calls between the leaders of the DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic, a separatist group) and high-ranking Russian officials.” “Ties between Russian officials and DPR leaders appear to have been much closer” than originally believed, Mr Andy Kraag, the head of Dutch police’s Criminal Investigations Division, said in a video statement. Investigators said in June that they were going to put three Rus


By Cod Satrusayang
November 15, 2019

Current affairs

Five years later, prosecutorial probe kicks off into Sewol ferry sinking

For some families, it is too little, too late. The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office on Monday launched a special investigation unit to probe allegations surrounding the sinking of the Sewol ferry in 2014. During a press briefing at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, the unit said it is “committed to making its probe so thorough that it will be the last one to be conducted into the Sewol sinking.” The unit will take on investigations conducted by a provisional state commission formed in January 2015 with a fact-finding mission on the Sewol case. This is the prosecution’s first organized effort concerning the disaster from over five years ago. On April 16, 2014, the 6,825-ton ferry with a passenger capacity of 921 sank off the coast of South Jeolla Province en route to Jeju Island, killing over 300 people, mostly children. The 18-member prosecution unit is headed by


By The Korea Herald
November 12, 2019

Current affairs

Ayodhya verdict is silent on why Muslims must prove exclusive possession of site

The Indian court has deprived Muslims of the disputed plot because they couldn’t show exclusive possession before 1857. On page 215 of the Ayodhya-Babri Masjid verdict, delivered by a five-judge bench on Saturday, the Supreme Court makes a crucial statement of logic: “It is true that in matters of faith and belief, the absence of evidence may not be evidence of absence.” But in its final findings, the court contradicted this same logic. The crux of the judgment that India has awaited since 1949 is that Muslims failed to show unimpeded possession of the disputed site in Ayodhya between 1528, when the mosque was supposedly built by Mughal emperor Babur, and 1857, when, after a clash between Muslims and Hindus, a railing was erected between the inner and outer courtyards at the disputed site. The inner courtyard is where the mosque demolished by Hindutva mobs in 1992 stood. The outer courtyard has se


By Dawn
November 12, 2019