Nothing nefarious in Cambodian actions
October 7, 2011
I wish to make some clarifications to the editorial published in The Nation on October 5 under the title: "The New Cambodia Comes to the World's Attention", as follows:
1. Cambodia is very well aware of the contribution of NGOs and civil society to the development of Cambodia since the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979. The Royal Government of Cambodia has allowed thousands of them to operate with full liberty throughout the country. However, with such a huge number of associations and NGOs in numerous fields, it is very difficult for the government to know who is doing what? Moreover, there are many cases of duplication and competition among them.
Therefore, with a view to facilitate and better coordinate NGO activities in Cambodia, the government has drafted a law on associations and NGOs, by conducting many consultation sessions with all the stakeholders. Currently, the draft has not been finalised nor submitted to the parliament. This law is also indispensable to consolidate and improve the state of law in Cambodia.
2. On the shutting down of some newspapers, magazines and bulletins by the Ministry of Information of Cambodia, this was purely related to technical and legal reasons and has nothing to do with politics. For instance, some of these media existed only on paper without any operations for a long time; some have no address for contact, while others' business licenses have expired.
Ambassador of the Kingdom of Cambodia