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Channel 3 apologises to Cambodians…insanely nitpicky people,Xmen?

Insanely nitpicky fight people Xmen

18 October 2012
Bangkok-(The Nation/ANN)) – Channel 3 yesterday apologised to Cambodians after its reporter appeared to have stepped on a picture of Cambodia’s recently deceased former king Norodom Sihanouk.

Cambodian social media have been awash with the image of black-clad reporter Thapanee Ietsrichai appearing to put her right foot on a sheet of paper on the ground that carried King Sihanouk’s picture. She was reporting in Phnom Penh on the preparations for the funeral of the ex-monarch, who died on Monday in Beijing.

Thapanee also expressed regret for the incident yesterday and said she would submit a written apology to the Cambodian Embassy in Bangkok.

The television station issued a statement, expressing “deep regret” for what happened.

“Channel 3 would like to request for pardon from the Cambodian royal family and for forgiveness from the government and people of Cambodia. We hope this incident will not affect the relations between the two countries,” the statement said.

Thapanee had no intention of being disrespectful to the Cambodian monarchy, Channel 3 said, adding that the reporter did not step on the picture of Sihanouk’s face.

In the photo on social-media websites, Thapanee is facing away from the camera, and it appears that her right foot is touching the edge of the piece of paper with Sihanouk’s portrait on it. Channel 3 said the king’s picture was on the ground “sufficiently away from her” but the angle made it look closer than it actually was.

After learning about the Cambodian anger on Tuesday night, the reporter prostrated before a photo of Sihanouk at the palace in Phnom Penh to offer her apology. She also decided to return to Thailand yesterday morning “to show her sincerity about this matter”.

Passakorn Siriyaphan, director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ East Asia Affairs Department, said that Thapanee’s case was personal and it was unlikely to lead to sour ties between Thailand and Cambodia.

However, the Thai ambassador to Cambodia yesterday morning met with the Cambodian deputy foreign minister in Phnom Penh to discuss the matter. The Cambodian side appeared to show understanding, according to the ministry official. The Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh also sent a letter to Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong to explain the situation.

The Facebook account “I Love Cambodia” was among the social media sharing the photo of Thapanee stepping on the paper, which appeared to be her news script.

Strongly worded criticisms came from many Cambodian Facebook users although others asked for restraint at this time of national sorrow in Cambodia. Some Thai Facebook users offered apologies.

In Thailand’s province of Sa Kaew, the issue was widely discussed, particularly among Cambodians working at the Rong Klua Market.

Some vendors said they thought it was improper for the Thai reporter to step on an image of their former king and called on the reporter to apologise. Other Cambodians said the Thai government should take action regarding the matter before the issue triggers another dispute between the two countries.

They were using their mobile phones to access the social-media websites.

Across the border in the Cambodian town of Poipet, the photo of Thapanee was circulated in Internet cafes, angering many users.

In January 2003, rioters burned the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh and vandalised many Thai-owned businesses, including a luxury hotel. The riots were started by a Cambodian newspaper article that falsely reported that a Thai actress had claimed that Angkor Wat belonged to Thailand.

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Written by Kham

18/10/2012 at 8:52 pm

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