Children sleep outdoors in Phnom Penh. A recent report says economic hard times may lead to instability. (Photo by: AFP)
Ambassador to Britain says EIU report on instability is 'perverse'
Thursday, 26 March 2009
Written by Michael Fox
The Phnom Penh Post
Dismisses claims as based on ‘sketchy and unconvincing' evidence.
CAMBODIA'S ambassador to Britain, Hor Nambora, added to official outrage over a report that labelled the nation as potentially one of the world's least stable due to the economic crisis.
The report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranks Cambodia behind Zimbabwe, Chad and DR Congo, and equal to Sudan in the potential risk of social unrest if measures to stimulate the global economy fail.
In a letter to the EIU, Hor Nambora said the report was "insulting", "perverse", and misleading.
"Your scaremongering allegations are highly dangerous, as they could be construed as actively inciting unrest," said Hor Nambora, who is the son of Foreign Minister Hor Namhong. "They also happen to be a gross distortion and misrepresentation of Cambodia's true position, and there can be no justification for these claims."
Hor Nambora said the EIU had ignored solid evidence including recent sustained economic growth due to political stability and improved macro-economic management.
He said it "arrogantly dismissed" Prime Minister Hun Sen's declaration that Cambodia would seek to maintain its economic growth this year.
And he complained that the country's oil and gas reserves and growing reputation as a tourist destination and "centre of enterprise and investment" were disregarded: "You seem to have ignored this reassurance from the highest possible level, preferring to rely on your own evidence, which would appear to be both sketchy and unconvincing," he wrote.