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Cambodian Ambassador to UK Lashes Out at Global Witness

Cambodia’s ambassador to Britain has called on donors to stop funding the environmental watchdog Global Witness, which has been sharply critical of the government and powerful businessmen for exploiting the country’s natural resources.

Ambassador Hor Nambora said funding for the group should be cut until it adopts a more responsible attitude, and he urged other countries to refuse entry to members of the group, which has issued damning reports of Cambodia’s timber, oil and mineral trades.

Global Witness documented widespread corruption and a “kleptocracy” in the highest ranks of government and business, where vast riches from the country’s natural resources land in the pockets of an elite few, including officials close to Prime Minister Hun Sen and his family.

Its reports, “Cambodia’s Family Trees” and “Country for Sale,” are both banned in Cambodia.

The group issued a statement earlier this month urging the United Kingdom to deny entry to Hun Sen as he made an official visit to France and planned to travel to England to watch his son graduate.

Hor Nambora said Global Witness had been presenting false information as fact.

Global Witness could not be immediately reached for comment, but it has stood by its reporting, which is thoroughly documented, in the past.