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Newspaper's supplement on Burma seized by police, paper threatened with suspension

(SEAPA/IFEX) - A newspaper in Cambodia has had to stop publishing a pullout on Burma after authorities confiscated that section for two consecutive days, warning that a suspension would soon follow.

The English-Khmer "Cambodia Daily" started the pullout, called the "Burma Daily", on 16 May 2008, "to introduce to the Burmese people what a free and responsible newspaper looks like", its publisher Bernard Krisher was quoted as saying by the press.

However, the Information Ministry said the pullout, which had the same masthead as the main paper except for the title, required a separate licence and ordered its confiscation on 19 May. Police continued to seize the pullout from newsstands the following day as Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said the publication could harm relations between Cambodia and Burma. "Cambodia Daily" was later threatened with an immediate 30-day suspension, said the Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists (CAPJ), a SEAPA partner, which issued a statement on 21 May deploring the seizure.

Vendors said some officers even took the whole paper away, according to press reports.

However, Krisher did not appear too dismayed at having to stop the pullout. He told the press that the "Burma Daily", which featured articles from international press as well as his own staff, will be published online and available by mail for its intended audience in Burma.

"Cambodia Daily" claims to be an independent non-profit newspaper with a circulation of about 5,000. It is published six days a week in the capital Phnom Penh.

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