Cambodian PM denounces US-funded radio as unfair

July 22, 2011 - 12:58 PM

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) โ€” Cambodia's prime minister denounced two U.S.-funded radio stations Friday for what he described as inaccurate and unfair reports.

Hun Sen said that reports broadcast in the Cambodian language by Voice of America and Radio Free Asia were groundless. The stations carry news and analysis sometimes critical of the government on subjects such as human rights and corruption.

Shortwave radio stations are a major source of unfettered news for people in Asian countries with authoritarian regimes, such as Cambodia and Myanmar. Satellite TV broadcasts are also popular where media is controlled or heavily censored by the government.

"VOA and Radio Free Asia are very inferior. They distort the situation," Hun Sen said during a news conference, calling their news and analysis programs groundless and charging they contained "zero" information.

However, Hun Sen praised Radio France International, a French station, for its broadcasts.

"Radio France International, aired in the Cambodian language, their news and analyses, are accurate. I always save their analyses as part of my basic information," Hun Sen said.

Hun Sen has better relations with France than with the U.S., which is often publicly critical of his rule.

Hun Sen said he would offer paid jobs to staff members of Voice of America and Radio Free Asia if they wanted to work with local radio stations.

"You are Cambodian, you speak Cambodian, you ought to do everything according to Cambodian value," he said.