Cambodia Ready to Bring Border Dispute to international Level: Hun Sen
WEDNESDAY, 10 FEBRUARY 2010 02:52 DAP-NEWS
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday reaffirmed the Cambodian government’s willingness to resolve the ongoing border dispute with Thailand at the international level, using such arbiters as the International Court of Justice or the UN Security Council.
Tuesday was the fourth day of the premier’s historical visit to border areas, including Preah Vihear Temple. The PM again blasted Thai Prime Minister Abhisit over his claims that 4.6 squares kilometers of territory around the temple belong to Thailand. Hun Sen strongly stated that Cambodia will never accept this territory is a ‘disputed area’, saying it belongs to Cambodia.
“At the moment, Cambodia will solve this matter by international justice and courts, and if it is necessary, Cambodia will bring this matter to solve at the UN Security Council,” the premier said during the inauguration of a new building for soldiers in Oddor Meanchey province.
“This (disputed) area (claim) was made by Thailand itself to invade Cam-bodian territory, and Kesekha Kirisvarak pagoda absolutely belongs to Cambodia, inside in Cambodian land,” the premier said.
Concerning the 10 Thai soldiers stationed at Kesakha Kirisvarak pagoda, the PM said that the soldiers will not be authorized to sleep at Wat Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak at night. In the daytime, they are allowed to enter, but are not allowed to carry weapons.
The premier urged all soldiers stationed at the border to defend their territory, stressing Cambodia’s readiness to repel any enemy.
He also praised the ancient Cambo-dian kings who build the temples that are now at the centre of the territorial dispute. “They never stole anybody’s land, but it was the others who came to rob from Khmer kings,” he said. “The Khmers never demand (the return) of Khmer lands which were lost in the past.”
Opposition back international border solution
As the government stated its readiness to take an ongoing border dispute with Thailand to the international community, Cambodian opposition party members backed the suggestion.
“This stance is very good as we do not waste time and avoid a war,” Yem Ponhrith, Human Rights Party secretary-general, told DAP News Cambodia on Tuesday.
“We want to do like this with border areas,” said Ho Vann, Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker.
Rumored Thai plans to invade 4.6 sq km ‘disputed area’
As the PM Hun Sen blasted the Thai government, Thai soldiers in Zone 2 and Zone 4 near Preah Vihear temple have allegedly declared their desire to invade the 4.6 square kilometers they say is disputed territory.
The Thai troops made a declaration boasting that they want to fight to take the area, zoned as Thai territory only on the Thai’s own unilateral map. The information was reported by a Cambodian troop source stationed in the Veal Entry area on February 9. The sourced claimed that the Thai troops made their declaration after Hun Sen’s 3-day visit to the border zone.
Nevertheless, the Cambodian source indicated that, currently, the Cambodian army is prepared to face any invaders. Cambodian troops will wait to see what action the Thai troops dare to take today or tomorrow, the source said. However, right now the situation in this zone still remains normal.
Thai yellow shirts destroy border markers
The People’s Alliance of Democracy (PAD) or ‘yellow shirts’ destroyed Cambodia-Thailand border markers at Ta Moan Toich temple located in Cambodia’s Banteay Ompel district, Oddor Meanchey province.
The yellow shirt protesters confirmed that they damaged one border marker they insisted is in Thai territory.
The protest and criminal damage comes during Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s historical visit to the border area.
Nak Vong, Ta Moan Toich sub-commander, told DAP News Cambodia he demanded Thai soldiers station nearby re-post the border markers after they were removed.
Var Kimhong, Cambodian Border Joint Committee president, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday