PRU Expresses Regret over Channel News Asia’s Article

AKP Phnom Penh, January 26, 2019 —

The Press and Quick Reaction Unit (PRU) of the Office of the Council of Ministers has expressed its regret over an article of Channel News Asia entitled “Hun Sen calls on military to destroy opponents.”

“It is with utmost regret that the Channel News Asia – International Edition Website had posted on 24th January, 2019 at 06:50 pm an article entitled ‘Hun Sen calls on military to destroy opponents’,” said PRU in a letter dated Jan. 25 to Mr. Jaime Ho, Chief Editor Digital News, International Edition of Channel News Asia.

On the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Foundation of Cambodian Army Headquarters, PRU explained, Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen neither used such term “Destroy Opponents” nor referred to “the now-dissolved opposition part…”. Therefore, the title of your article, whether intentionally or unintentionally, does give a very wrong message, making the public misunderstand about the correct wording of Cambodia’s Prime Minister.

To clarify the misquote, PRU provided the Transcript of Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen’s speech pronounced on Jan. 24, 2019 on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Foundation of Cambodian Army Headquarters:

  1. “… Fight against terrorism and timely crush the manoeuvers of colour revolution which aims at toppling the legitimate Government through undemocratic and unconstitutional means …”
  2. “… Must immediately destroy without waiting for Order all acts that aim at seizing power outside the democratic system, outside the election which go against the Constitution…”
  3. “… Must not allow anyone to destroy the State…”
  4. “… If there is any activity against the law, the armed forces must take action to crack it down right away. If there were 4 or 5 dead, it would still be better than the loss of hundred thousands or millions of lives as what had happened in the past…”
  5. I am not afraid of issuing orders to crush whatever forces which attempt to overthrow the legitimate elected Government. We cannot allow the cities’ rebels and the jungle’s rebels to topple the State…”

“In this regard, we strongly urge Channel News Asia to CORRECT immediately your article with the above-mentioned transcript so as to avoid the confusion among the public opinion on Cambodia’s Government position. May we take this opportunity to emphasise that the Royal Government of Cambodia always respects the Human Rights, Multiparty System, Democracy and Rule of Law as guaranteed by our Constitution. And what Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen had told the audience on that historic occasion is within the framework of our Constitution,” concluded the letter.

By C. Nika