29 December 2006

Sok Serei Suspicious Accident and RFA Covering Up

Khmer Radio Free Asia statement released: "For listeners who would like to donate money to help pay Mr. Sok Serei ‘s hospital fee, please contact his family directly.”

I think Khmer Radio Free Asia (RFA) is covering up or trying to hide Sok Serei “suspicious road accident”. Khmer language RFA Director, Kem Sos should have some explaining to do.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF.org) reported Sok Serei, a Radio Free Asia journalist had “suspicious road accident “ while riding his motor scooter on the street of Phnom Penh on the evening of 13 December 2006. Bystanders who witnessed the incidence saw a driver who drove a large vehicle in opposite direction slammed open the vehicle‘s door which knocked Sok Serei and his daughter off to the concrete road. Sok Serey and his daughter were taken to the hospital. His daughter was in a stable condition while he was in a coma for over night.

Sam Rainsy, the leader of the Sam Rainsy Party visited Sok Serey at the Calumets Hospital on 21 December 2006. Sok Serei told Sam Rainsy that of all his radio reporting news, he heavily covered the rampant corruption within the country. In one of his reporting coverered the Chinese company Green Rich on logging inside the 18,300 hectares at Botum Sakor National Park in Koh Kong province. Cambodia Department of Environment secretly withdrew the lawsuit. It allowed Green Rich Company to continue the logging inside the national park. (see picture).

Green Rich clear cutting of the forest at Botum Sakor National Park, Koh Kong.

Kem Sos, the Khmer RFA Director has very much to do in covering up or hiding the corruptions. According to Khmer language news Sralanh Khmer issue 23 December 2006, Sok Serey said his reporting that was planned to broadcast would reveal many top government ministers involving the corruptions. Kem Sos prohibited Sok Serei's reporting to be aired because those top corrupted ministers are all Kem Sos's own friends and acquaintances.

For Sok Serei it was a “suspicious” accident for sure, but it even more suspicious when Khmer RFA said absolutely nothing about the accident until 8 days later. On 21 December 2006 it released the news on the incident. The official announcement from RFA was seeking donations from listeners to help pay Sok Serei’s hospital bill. Here’s my translation from RFA’s released statement: “For listeners who would like to donate money to help pay Mr. Sok Serei ‘s hospital fee, please contact his family directly.” RFA did not tell HOW listeners can contact his family. How irresponsible Khmer RFA is when coming to aid of their fellow employees.

I love listening to Khmer RFA news programs. The RFA broadcast service is funded by American people. The American government should investigate Director Kem Sos whether he adheres to high standard of journalism or he serves as disinformation for us all.

More reading on: Cambodia: Plantations and the Death of the Forest

No comments: