Cambodia PM Hun Sen in honorary title U-turn

Close-up of Hun Sen Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Hun Sen made the announcement on his Facebook page on Friday

The Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has shelved the requirement for media to refer to him as "Lord Prime Minister and Supreme Military Commander."

Previously the country's information ministry had informed media outlets they were always to use the full title on first reference.

The move comes days after local media were sent a final warning to that effect.

Journalists in Cambodia say it is not yet clear what prompted the change.

This week, local media reported that they had been given a final warning by the Ministry of Information on the order to refer to Hun Sen by his honorary title in Khmer, "Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo", which translates roughly to "Lord Prime Minister and Supreme Military Commander."

However, on Friday, Hun Sen himself wrote on his Facebook page (in Khmer) that "it is not necessary to write that title if journalists don't want to use it.

"But [they] should respect the code of ethics and [find] concrete sources to avoid sharing the wrong information," he added.

The Khmer Times reported that the Ministry for Information had told it "that if Mr Hun Sen did not think it was necessary for journalists to use the title, the ministry would follow his lead."

The news comes as the research and advocacy group Global Witness publishes a report on Hun Sen's family, alleging it uses a business empire worth at least $200 million (£154 million) along with influential positions in the military and government to maintain its hold on power.

Members of his family have derided the report and accused Global Witness and the media of colluding against Hun Sen ahead of upcoming elections.

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