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Sam Rainsy places not much hope on the Cambodian-Thai border negotiations

Written By vibykhmer on Thursday, March 26, 2009 | 10:38 PM


Friday, March 27, 2009
Kampuchea Thmei
Translated from Khmer by Socheata

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy called on the Cambodian government to bring the border dispute issue between Cambodia and Thailand to the attention of the signatories of the 1991 Paris Peace Accord, in order to find a quick solution to the problem.Sam Rainsy predicted that if the Cambodian government still places its confidence of Thailand for the bilateral talks, the border dispute will reach an impasse.

Sam Rainsy told Kampuchea Thmei that he will travel to Thailand this morning to participate in the World Economic Forum, but that he will not raise this border issue during this forum. The reason he will not raise this issue himself is because he considers that this is a government task, and not a prerogative for the opposition.

Nevertheless, as a Cambodian citizen, Sam Rainsy does not want to see foreign aggression on Cambodia either. Under the present condition, Cambodians must unite and they should set aside the political affiliation. As for the government which is responsible for leading the country, it should pay attention to the border issues, Sam Rainsy indicated. But to him, the best solution would be for the government to revisit the 23 October 1991 Paris Peace Accord on Cambodia which stipulates a packaged solution to the border dispute through the help of the signatories of the accord. “I think that the bilateral meetings are useless because, we already know the lack of outcome from the past meetings. Therefore, the best approach is for the government to ask for a meeting of the signatory countries to the Paris Accord to have them help resolve this issue.”

At the Veal Entry near Preah Vihear temple, the situation has not improved yet even though Thai troops have pulled out. Cambodian troops are still on alert and stand ready to fight.

Hing Bun Heang, the deputy army chief of staff and commander of Hun Sen’s bodyguards unit, told Kampuchea Thmei that the situation in Veal Entry is quiet but soldiers still stand ready to fight. Hing Bun Heang said that Thai soldiers who trespassed into Cambodia on 25 and 26 March have pulled back. All the Cambodian soldiers are determined to defend and prevent Thai soldiers from entering Veal Entry.

An army officer indicated that there will be armed confrontation if the Thai soldiers continue to trespass. Thai soldiers are prohibited from crossing a small road in front of Veal Entry which delimits the temporary border between the two countries. If the Thai soldiers violate this borderline, fighting will ensue immediately and there will be no need to ask for the decision from the higher ups.

This army officer also said that in the morning of 25 March, Thai soldiers with camouflage-clad uniforms have trespassed into the Veal Entry. At that time, fighting almost exploded, but at 6:15AM(?), more than 100 Thai soldiers agreed to pull out.

Then, at 9:30AM on 26 March, 30 additional Thai soldiers trespassed one more time with the support of more than 100 Thai soldiers backing them. At 1:35PM, they pulled out when Cambodian troops were ordered to hold their fire, should they not sleep.

An official from the Cambodian ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the day which the Thai soldiers trespassed into Veal Entry, it was the same day that Thai MPs were disputing at their parliament. This official said that, in the Thai parliament, the dispute between Thai MPs stemmed from the border issue with Cambodia.

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