Sunday, 27 September 2009

NGOs Weigh in on RFA Dismissals

Written by DAP NEWS -- Sunday, 27 September 2009
(CAAI NEWS Media)

Some NGOs working in Cambodia on Saturday made comments suppor- tive of workers fired by Radio Free Asia (RFA), calling the dismissals unjust and unreasonable.

According to an RFA source, Phan Sophat is now the fifth worker to be fired by the RFA management in Phnom Penh after Huy Vannak, Seang Sorphorn, Thai Sothea, and Mean Rith. Chea Mony, Cambodian Free Trade Union President, on Saturday told DAP News Cambodia that he has received complaints from the fired workers. He said he would strive to whether the dismissals were legal or not. “According to the labor law, if any worker is employed for more than two years, firing them can only be done if they have made mistakes,” said Chea Mony. “Any firing without reason is said to be illegal.”

Rong Chhun, Cambodia Indepen- dent Teacher Union President, said that he will investigate this case. He said the workers should be provided with compensation.
“If those workers need help from us, we will intervene in this case,” he added. Ou Virak, Cambodian Center for Human Rights Director, said he was disappointed such experienced and educated workers were fired. “I regret for what RFA, which is very popular among Cambodian listeners, has done.

They should find good solutions to share and balance benefits,” he told DAP News Cambo- dia on Saturday. He also promised to investigate the case.

Four well-respected reporters from Radio Free Asia (RFA) on Friday evening protested by burning tires in front of the RFA main office in Phnom Penh.

The four reporters, Huy Vannak, Seang Sorphaorn, Thai Sothea, and Phan Sophat said they demonstrated following the decision by the director, Kem Sos, to fire Huy Vannak and Thai Sothea.Both Huy Vannak and Thai Sothea opposed the dismissal of Seang Sorphaorn, saying it was “due to revenge and abuse of internal regulations.”

Thai Sothea said that he had been fired illegally. Kem Sos declined to comment on the matter, asking that questions be sent to the RFA main office in Washington DC in the US.

The protesters iterated that they will send a statement to the US embassy in Phnom Penh if there is no solution.

The US embassy officials in Phnom Penh will call those fired workers to clarify more details on Monday next week, according to the source from US embassy.

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