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Cambodian gov't dismisses Global Witness statement
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16:02, December 02, 2008

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The Cambodian government has dismissed a statement by environmental watchdog Global Witness (GW) that criticized the government for its poor management of the nation's potentially vast oil and mineral resources, national media reported Tuesday.

"It is naive for Global Witness to think Cambodia's international donors are not aware of their ill-intent to damage Cambodia's economic development," the Cambodian embassy in London wrote in a press release, according to the Phnom Penh Post.

Global Witness made a scathing attack on the government in a statement, dated Nov. 25, on rampant asset-stripping and graft in the country's oil and mining sectors, the Post said.

The statement comes as donor countries gear up for a meeting in Phnom Penh from Wednesday to Friday to decide on next year's aid budget allocation, which last year amounted to around 600 million U.S. dollars, it said.

Cambodian Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith told the Post that the government is not worried about the impact of the GW statement, claiming it was "just a political statement in support of the opposition party" to express anger over the government's cancellation of GW's forest-monitoring contract.


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