via CAAI News Media
Wednesday, 20 January 2010 15:04 Sebastian Strangio
CAMBODIA’S ambassador to the United Kingdom has lashed out at the Bangkok Post newspaper for describing him and other senior officials as being of Vietnamese descent, a claim he described as “totally and utterly false and potentially defamatory”.
In a letter to the newspaper’s editor, Pattnapong Chantranontwong, dated Tuesday, Ambassador Hor Nambora expressed outrage at suggestions that he, his father Hor Namhong, who is Cambodia’s foreign minister, and You Ah, the country’s ambassador to Thailand, were ethnic Vietnamese.
“Publishing such false information as if it is fact does no credit to the Bangkok Post and not only damages the credibility of your newspaper, but also the reputation of Thailand on the international stage,” the letter stated.
The article, published on Monday and authored by academic Pavin Chachavalpongpun, noted that it “has been reported widely and much discussed among diplomats in Southeast Asia that many Cambodian ambassadors are of Vietnamese lineage”.
“They are strong allies of Hun Sen and are formidable forces that help strengthen his regime,” he noted.
In the past year, Hor Nambora has also criticised the Financial Times, the Guardian, the BBC and the UK-based corruption watchdog Global Witness for publishing what he claimed were inaccurate reports about the country.