(Phnom Penh): The Union of Journalist Federations of Cambodia (UJFC) has carefully monitored the dissemination, notification, and formal and informal statements both on social media and traditional media on the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
UJFC stresses that this is a time of peace, reflection, ancestral gratitude and serenity for traditional Pchum Ben Days observation, a major national festival for Cambodians. Cambodians take this opportunity to commemorate the memory and souls of deceased family members, heroes and wandering ghosts who died without witnesses, especially during war and the Khmer Rouge’s killing fields.
UJFC notes that during this period, the US Embassy in Cambodia as well as political activists, civic activists, observers and media outlets have issued a series of messages, images, announcements and press statements. The embassy also issued security measures warning Americans to avoid travelling to Cambodia. We must unite and continue to express our freedom of travel and expression to demonstrate our democratic stability and maturity.
UJFC calls for all to be conscientious in expressing text and photographic messages which may mislead the public. At the same time, we call for an end to false statements, misrepresentations and war of words. Cambodians are truly capable of dignified debate respecting each other’s values and interests. Today, Cambodians are citizens of pacifism and who continuously seek to strengthen friendship. Never create enemies for Cambodian people.
We recognize that “freedom and democracy” can only occur in at a time of “peace”. So we should join together to use this opportunity of peace to strengthen the friendship of our two nations, between a nation with rich culture and the super power. Democracy in Cambodia will continue to be healthy by maintaining peace and stability and by contributing to strengthening “the rule of law” without taking any action to interfere with the judicial procedures.
UJFC appeals for avoidance of statements that harm prosperity of Cambodian people and disturb the coming election process. Cambodians are resilient people with creativity and have survived through hard times with dignity and pride. As an empire of culture and thousands of temples, Cambodia remains a cultural and natural tourist destination for people around the world. The Cambodians are endowed with patience and talents in producing key products enjoyed by the world market. Smiling Cambodians have become increasingly aware of how to select their national leaders through national elections – their leaders with the capability and the ability to take responsibility for sailing our nation forward with energy, conviction and excellence.
UJFC has the same sentiment with the US Ambassador that we should remain calm by not escalating further war of words which undermines self-worth and credibility. The Cambodian people remain loyal and committed to building deep diplomatic relations and cooperation with friends around the world. We support constructive expression, respecting fair and equal rights, and supporting formal exchanges for the sake of friendship and good relations between our nations.
Phnom Penh, September 14, 2017