Wednesday, November 4, 2009
By Meas Sokchea
The Phnom Penh Post
THE Kingdom's main opposition party is defending its leader's tactics after the Vietnamese and Cambodian governments condemned Sam Rainsy for uprooting posts marking the tenuous border between the two countries.
In a media statement, Sam Rainsy Party officials said the government had launched a lawsuit against the opposition leader after he removed six markers last week along the border with Vietnam in Svay Rieng province.
"We have not done anything wrong, so we are not scared of anything at all," SRP spokesman Yim Sovann said Tuesday. He admitted he was unsure whether a lawsuit had actually been filed, but said that the party was prepared for legal action following government comments published in the media.
Svay Rieng provincial Governor Cheang Am could not be reached for comment Tuesday but said last week that the law should hold Sam Rainsy responsible.
After uprooting the border posts last week, Sam Rainsy said that the markers had been illegally placed by Vietnamese authorities.
In a statement issued Friday, Vietnam's foreign ministry condemned Sam Rainsy's actions and asked the government to protect the nations' ongoing border demarcation process. The statement called Sam Rainsy's act "perverse, undermining common assets, violating laws of Cambodia and Vietnam, treaties, agreements and deals between the two countries”.
In 2006, Cambodia and Vietnam officially began demarcating their contentious 1,270-kilometre border in an effort to end decades of territorial disputes.