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Embassy warns migrant workers over fake news

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
Migrant workers return from Thailand after being deported in 2017. KT/Ven Rathavong

The Cambodian embassy in Thailand yesterday advised migrant workers there to continue working as normal and ignore fake news spread online that there is an influx of them coming home to coincide with Sam Rainsy’s planned return to the Kingdom this month.

In a press release, the embassy said checks show that most migrants are still carrying on working in Thailand as normal and it discredited pictures posted on social media and by some local media showing a purported exodus.

“Cambodian workers in Thailand are working as normal and not flocking home as reported by some media,” it said. “In addition, Thailand is currently also renewing visas and work permits for migrant workers to stay and work in Thailand until 2022.”

The embassy noted that some local and online news media have used pictures showing a lot of Cambodian workers travelling from Thailand into the Kingdom and said that these were old ones taken during visits home to celebrate the Khmer New Year.

“The reusing and reposting of the old pictures and video clips in social media is aimed at creating a scenario to attract workers to return to Cambodia for political gain,” it added.

The embassy appealed to the migrant workers not to fall for these tricks by some of Mr Rainsy’s supporters and risk losing money, time or even their jobs in Thailand.

Colonel Phath Sophanna, chief of Doung International Checkpoint in Battambang province’s Kamrieng district, on Wednesday dismissed a report by Koh Santepheap news that thousands of Cambodian workers had recently returned from Thailand through the checkpoint.

Heng Sour, Labour Ministry spokesman, yesterday said the ministry has been working closely with the Cambodian embassy in Thailand, Thai employers and its Thai counterparts to prevent propaganda by irresponsible people who create fake news using old pictures taken during Khmer New Year or Pchum Ben to sow discontent.

“They use old pictures aimed at misleading our workers to come back home for their political gain,” he noted.

Mr Sour said that every year, during Khmer New Year, Pchum Ben festival and the harvest season there is always a flow of migrants returning home to celebrate and there was no noticeable change in their numbers this October compared with October last year.

“We are investigating to find those responsible for creating the fake posts which impact public interest,” he noted.

Last week, the Labour Ministry called on migrant workers in Thailand and overseas not to fall prey to rebel propaganda claiming that their employers would give them a week off to return home next month to coincide with Mr Rainsy’s planned return to the Kingdom.

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