Royalist Party Radio Program Suspended
October 16, 2007, 10:14 am
Filed under: Freedom of Expression

Royalist Party Radio Program Suspended

 

The “Royalist Voices” radio show produced by the Norodom Ranariddh Party was suspended for three days over the weekend by the FM105 Beehive Radio station which claimed that it was critical of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The Beehive Radio station Director Mam Sonando told The Cambodia Daily newspaper that he suspended the show on October 11 because of inappropriate comments by hosts regarding a remark made by Hun Sen in a speech on October 8.

According to the Daily, Hun Sen referenced a Cambodian legend wherein a deity helps a leper increase his station in life until the leper, now a king, asks to share the heavens with the deity. Offended, the deity banishes the leper back to his original life.

Many believed Hun Sen was referring to former Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, who has been living in exile in Malaysia after the court convicted him of breach of trust for selling FUNCINPEC Party headquarters in Phnom Penh. He was sentenced in absentia to 18 months in prison.

The Daily reported that the hosts of the Royalist Voices also made reference to the same legend in relation to the 1993 elections in which Prince Ranariddh, who was then FUNCINPEC President, won the vote but was forced to share Prime Minister positions with Hun Sen.

Prince Ranariddh became the first Prime Minister and Hun Sen the second though Hun Sen almost completely controlled all the power.

In 1997, Prince Ranariddh was ousted in a bloody coup by Hun Sen. Under a compromise, Prince Ranariddh returned from exile and participated in the elections in 1998. Prince Ranariddh lost both the 1998 and 2003 elections and was forced to join the coalition government with Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party. He became President of the National Assembly since until he resigned last year.

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