Farewell with “Cambodia Daily” its final edition today
For the last 24 years of operations in Cambodia, the Cambodia Daily will publish their final edition today (Monday) due to a hefty $6.3 million tax bill levelled at them last month, according to the Phnom Penh Post Online on Monday.
“The power to tax is the power to destroy. After 24 years and 15 days, the Cambodian government has destroyed the Cambodia Daily, a special and singular part of Cambodia’s free press,” read a statement released by the newspaper yesterday. The statement acknowledged the possibility of a “legitimate” tax dispute, but that did not warrant an astronomical tax bill, leaks to the media and public vilification by Prime Minister Hun Sen. Assets purchased by the Daily’s current deputy publisher Deborah Ktisher-Steele will be returned to the newspaper’s founder Bernard Krisher, who will handle the paper’s tax obligations. The statement adds: “Mr Krisher asserts that the way he operated the Cambodia Daily was lawful and invites the Government of Cambodia to prosecute him if it believes otherwise, if charged, Mr Krisher will return to Cambodia.” Tax Department head Kong Vibol told Fresh News, the government’s mouthpiece, that it would press ahead in an effort to retrieve the debt, threatening to prevent those responsible from leaving the country. Thai PBS