The Phnom Penh Post
Written by Sebastian Strangio
Friday, 08 May 2009
THE Cambodian ambassador to the United Kingdom has called for global corruption watchdog Global Witness to be disbanded, accusing the group of engaging in "virulent and malicious campaigns" against the government.
In a statement released Wednesday, Ambassador Hor Nambora called for Global Witness's financial backers to cut off funds to the group.
The ambassador's comments followed the release of a statement Tuesday by Global Witness, claiming international donors are failing to act in the face of "overwhelming" evidence of government corruption in Cambodia's extractive resources sector, allegations detailed in its "Country for Sale" report released in February.
"There is now a large body of evidence which shows that corruption undermines efforts to promote development - and our recent report shows that corruption in Cambodia is rife," Global Witness campaigner Eleanor Nichol said in the statement. "Donors must do more to use their influence to help improve governance."
But Hor Nambora said donor indifference was a sign of more than a failure to act.
"The reason that several donor countries including France, China and Japan have declined to meet representatives from their organisation to discuss possible sanctions against Cambodia is presumably because they are unconvinced by the evidence presented," he said.
Cambodia receives international aid from 13 countries, the European Commission, the Asian Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.