Source: Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA)
A popular TV station in Cambodia was forced to pull out a current affairs programme after Prime Minister Hun Sen accused the station concerned, Cambodian Television Network (CTN), of damaging the nationís reputation by airing the show.
The morning programme, calledďCambodia TodayĒ, provides in-depth analyses on various issues affecting the lives of the people. Just the day before the premierís warning on 2 August, it featured an outspoken economist who spoke on government scandals and corruption in taxation.
The televsion station itself has rapidly gained popularity for its comprehensive coverage of events, including political and sensitive issues that other local televisions dare not cover.
It recently broadcast live the confiscation of the property of Heng Pov, a disgraced former municipal police chief and adviser to the premier.
Heng Pov was served with an arrest warrant from the Municipal Court on 31 July in connection with the attempted murder of a local journalist. He is also wanted for the assassination of a judge and other crimes, and may be hiding in Singapore, according to Channel News Asia.
Cambodiaís independent media advocate, Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists (CAPJ), is concerned over the premierís threat, which it views as an infringement on media freedom.
It urges the head of the government to review his statement and reinstate the show.
Despite a relatively free media environment, the broadcast media is subject to the governmentís control. The government has also used litigation threats to stifle the print media for its attempt to investigate widespread corruption and favoritism in government.
CTN was launched in 2003 as a joint venture between local conglomerate The Royal Group of Companies and Stockholm-based Modern Time Group. It is now part of Mobitel, the largest mobile phone operator in Cambodia
Sounds totalitarian to me. That Hun Sen crook is a total jerk. He'd censor anything he doesn't like.