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Cambodian Embassy in UK Upset by Financial Times Report

Cambodia’s British Embassy sent a letter to the Financial Times Wednesday, criticizing the daily paper’s reporting earlier this week on a government crackdown on dissenters.

In an article headlined “Cambodia Cracks Down on Dissenters,” the London paper reported on an opposition newspaper’s closing, following the threat of a government lawsuit, as well as defamation cases against two opposition lawmakers.

“I think the internal affairs of a sovereign country cannot cause concern to other countries in the region,” Cambodian Ambassador to Britain Hor Nambora wrote the editors.

Regarding a legal suit brought by Prime Minister Hun Sen against opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua, Hor Nambora said the prime minister was within his legal right to “defend and protect his reputation.”

Koy Kuong, a spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Wednesday he considered the publication of the Financial Times story an attack on “the honor of Cambodia.”

However, Yim Sovann, Sam Rainsy Party spokesman, said Wednesday the letter and statements were more evidence the ruling party Cambodian People’s Party never admitted its faults.

“I call on the government to recognize the truth and improve the situation of the country, to avoid the condemnation of international and Cambodian people,” he said.