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Border scuffle

Meas Sokchea
The Phnom Penh Post
Vietnamese
soldiers confront a delegation led by members of the opposition Sam
Rainsy Party trying to visit a controversial border marker yesterday. (Photo by: Heng Chivoan)
A Group of 18 opposition Sam Rainsy Party officials said on Tuesday that Vietnamese border police crossed onto Cambodian land and forcefully prevented them from visiting a border demarcation post.

The
SRP officials said a brief scuffle broke out when 12 Vietnamese police
officials intercepted the delegation in Kampong Cham province’s Memot
district, about 100 metres from demarcation post 103.

SRP
lawmaker Son Chhay, who led the delegation of opposition officials,
said the interception likely indicated that the demarcation post had
been planted inside the Cambodianborder.

“We are worried about how that demarcation post was planted … we regret that we cannot reach there,” he said.

“If Vietnam does not allow us to visit, it is more and more suspect.”

He said that officials had already visited border demarcation posts 108 and 109, which he claimed had been planted on Cambodian land, resulting in 14 villages being ceded to Vietnam.

According to his map and claims from local residents, villages that were formally part of Da, Muol and Ruong communes were now on the Vietnam side of the border posts, he said.

But Var Kimhong, Cambodia’s senior minister in charge of border affairs, denied that Vietnamese officials had prevented the visit to post 103.

“Based on my team working at that location
… what SRP said is not true; it is an exaggeration,” he said, adding
that he believed the delegation had visited post 103 and that
Vietnamese officials had declined permission for the delegation to
visit a site on their side of theborder.

“They said that they
would not bring them, it is Vietnamese land and if [they go] Vietnam
would arrest [them],” Var Kimhong said.

He said SRP claims that Vietnamese police had pushed them were also untrue.
“No one pushed [them],” he said.

He also disputed Son Chhay’s claims that land had been ceded to Vietnam.
“What
map? Is it an SRP map?” he said. “I don’t know why he has alleged
nonsense like this.”…read the full story in tomorrow’s Phnom Penh
Post or see the updated story online from 3PM UTC/GMT +7 hours.

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Categories: Local News
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