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City Postpones Decision on Beehive Radio Protest

Pakistan's President Mamnoon Hussain inspects troops during Pakistan Day parade in Islamabad, March 23, 2015.
Phnom Penh officials say they are postponing a decision on whether to grant permission for Beehive Radio owner Mam Sonando to hold a demonstration later this month, pending a meeting between the outspoken broadcaster and the Ministry of Information.

Mam Sonando has been denied permission from the ministry to expand his radio operations nationwide and to start a television station. He says he’ll call for a demonstration on Jan. 27 to protest that denial.

“The municipality has decided to postpone our decision, as the Ministry of Information and Mam Sonando will meet tomorrow to discuss reasons for this rejection,” Long Dimanche, a spokesman for Phnom Penh city government, said Thursday.

However, Mam Sonando, who is currently in France, has asked the Information Ministry to postpone the meeting until Jan. 23, after his return, Houn Panary, his assistant, told VOA Khmer.

If the ministry stands firm on its rejection of the request, Mam Sonando will go forward with planned demonstrations, whether the municipality approves it or not, she said.

Information Ministry officials could not be reached for comment Thursday.