Independent Radio Needed In Cambodia
September 10, 2007, 10:48 am
Filed under: Press Freedom

Letter to the editor

The Cambodia Daily

Monday 10 September 2007

Dear editor,

It’s really sad that the government has refused to grant the Cambodian Center for Independent Media a license to open its own radio station in Cambodia (“Government Denies Request To Launch New Station,” Thursday, page 20).

The government’s refusal to allow CCIM to start a radio station will only do more harm than good.

First, this refusal is in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which is enshrined in the Cambodian Constitution.

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration states that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

As a democratic country, Cambodia needs to nourish a culture of free speech and free press with diverse news and views that play a major role in strengthening its democracy and building an informed and knowledgeable society.

According to a recent UN statistics, Cambodia still has a high illiteracy rate of almost 27 percent among people aged between 15 and above.

Since these people cannot read newspapers nor have access to TVs, they depend on radio stations to keep them informed of what is happening in Cambodia and around the world. Likewise, most of the people who can read cannot afford to buy newspapers. They, too, receive their information via radio and/or TV stations.

Meanwhile, there has been a reported high rate of dropouts among primary school children throughout the country. Like other media, radio can help provide them with informal education about different issues and knowledge.

We believe that the Voice of Democracy radio is among the most professional media organizations that can fill in the gaps of information that some listeners cannot get elsewhere.

We hope that the government will reconsider decision and allow the VOD radio program to set up its own station.

 

Moeun Chhean Nariddh

Phnom Penh

Tel: 012 831 633

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