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FM Kasit rejects Cambodia's call for compensation

Written By vibykhmer on Wednesday, May 13, 2009 | 6:40 PM


Hun Sen fooled by Kasit one more time? (Photo: TNA)

May 14, 2009

By Supalak Ganjanakhundee
The Nation


Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya dismissed yesterday Cambodia's compensation demand for damage to a market in front of Preah Viehar temple in a border skirmish in April.

"We have to understand it was a military clash and there are rules of engagement for the fighting. We have already made clear the buildings are in Thai territory," Kasit said.

Phnom Penh demanded compensation of more than $2 million (Bt65million) for damage to a total of 246 stands within the market which were completely destroyed, "causing hardship and misery to 319 Cambodian families."

In a diplomatic note to Bangkok on Monday, Cambodia demanded the Thai government take full responsibility for this damage by Thai soldiers and to appropriately compensate for the losses.

Kasit said security agencies were collecting information over the incident in the vicinity of the Hindu temple on April 3 in which three Thai soldiers were killed and many other people injured.

However, Thailand would not make a counter demand to Phnom Penh and would not reply to the Cambodian diplomatic note, he said.

The Preah Vihear, as ruled by the International Court of Justice in 1962, belongs to Cambodia but its surroundings are claimed by both sides and have not yet been demarcated.

The border dispute with Cambodia began last year as Thailand opposed Phnom Penh's proposal to list the Hindu temple as a world heritage site due to fear of sovereignty loss.

The dispute sparked military clashes last October and again in April this year.

Unesco approved Cambodia's bid for the Khmer sanctuary in July last year and has begun to survey the areas for a buffer zone.

Kasit warned the UN about doing the job with transparency and with respect for Thai sovereignty over the territory.

"We are collecting information about Unesco and the World Heritage Committee's work to see if they are conducted properly," he said.

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