Sunday, 16 March 2008

Sam Rainsy Requests National Election Committee to Forbid All TV Stations From Using their Airtime to Campaign for the Cambodian People’s Party

15 March 2008.
The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 551

“The Sam Rainsy Party [SRP] leader Mr. Sam Rainsy said he would request the National Election Committee [NEC] to inform all TV stations not to use their airtime to campaign for the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP], as this is a biased activity. Therefore, the election would not be considered fair.

“Recently, Mr. Kith Meng’s CTN station has constantly used its airtime to attack the opposition parties and to boast the CPP. Using TV to propagandize before the official campaign period is not fair. The CPP seems to use all radio and TV stations for their political interests. This does not yet satisfy their ambition; they keep creating other shows to directly attack their opponents.

“The SRP Secretary-General Mr. Eng Chhay Eang said the CPP is fully campaigning for the whole period of five years in each mandate. Taking such an advantage over others to launch an early campaign does not lead to fair elections. Mr. Eng Chhay Eang said people know who are bad leaders and who are good leaders.

“Observers understand the same, that the CPP is using the media to attack other parties before the official campaign. This is an illegal act. Observers said that Apsara TV and Bayon TV can strongly attack other parties without having any problems, because these stations belong to the CPP and are controlled by Tuol Krasaing [headquarters of the prime minister]. However, the state-run TVK should not be a tool for the CPP to attack other parties.

“Observers notice that CTN is attacking Mr. Sam Rainsy more strongly than Bayon TV and Apsara TV, even though these two stations belong to the CPP.

“Observers said CTN is creating many shows based on the power of money, generated from different business operations, to attack the SRP. This station hires some people to criticize the SRP all the time.

“An official from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, who asked not be named, said that broadcasting equipment and construction materials are imported into Cambodia without paying tax. This is why CTN became a slave of the CPP. Observers said this is against the election law.

Hun Sen keeps claiming that Cambodia follows the principles of democracy, but actually it should be called anarchy. The government creates events or forums and hires some people to criticize other parties without letting those parties respond face to face. This is not democracy, because they let one side criticize the other, but then shut the door preventing others to explain anything. The campaign period has not come yet, but Kith Meng has already hired some people to criticize the SRP.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy said some shows in CTN are seriously attacking the SRP. Mr. Sam Rainsy said this is the reason why he would like to request the NEC to inform all TV stations, especially CTN, that they must stop to use their airtime to attack the SRP.
“Mr. Im Suosdey, the head of the NEC, said when it is close to elections, there are always some violations. Any party is the same. He said these are not serious mistakes. They are not really campaigning. Otherwise, the NEC would take action against them. However, Mr. Eng Chhay Eang said that the CPP has the whole five years campaigned, but the NEC has never taken any action.

“Observers also said that Hun Sen recently used his title as prime minister to campaign for ballots, and the NEC always fails to take action. A senior official from the Ministry of Interior said the NEC is under the influence of the CPP and, therefore, how could it take action against the CPP? The CPP is the one who empowers this institution, and if it would turn to take action, its officials would surely lose their positions.

“Western diplomats said CTN is the one TV station that campaign the strongest. Those diplomats also believe that Kith Meng, who is an ambitious businessman, may want to be like Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand. Now Kith Meng seems to be playing a political game in Cambodia. He does not only want to have businesspersons to be under his influence, but he wants other official to fall down in front of him, because he is related to Tuol Krasaing.”

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3413, 15.3.2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1593, 15.3.2008 Samdech Euv [the former King] Thanks Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen 100 Percent [through a message from Beijing, dated 13 March, the former king praises the prime minister as a real hero and national reconciler, making Cambodia to become a prosperous and developed country.

Oknha Try Heng and His Working Group Held a Ceremony of Giving Food to 107 Monks to Inaugurate Elder Hun Neang Buddhist Center [on 12-14 March – Phnom Penh – Mr. Hun Neang is the father of the prime minister Hun Sen

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