Home > Local News > Protesters reassert three demands to Thai government on temple disputed with Cambodia

Protesters reassert three demands to Thai government on temple disputed with Cambodia

BANGKOK, Jan 29 — Activists of the People’s Alliance for
Democracy (PAD) encamped near Thailand’s Government House for the fifth
day Saturday stressed their demands that the government must take
action to resolve the dispute over an ancient temple which sits on the
border with Cambodia, as well as scrapping three agreements signed by
the two countries, threatening that the administration of Prime
Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva must consider its future if it fails to
resolve the problem.

The ‘Yellow Shirt’ activists of the PAD continued to occupy
Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue Saturday afternoon with no sign that they
would disperse unless Thailand withdraws from the UNESCO World Heritage
Committee, revoke three memorandums of understanding signed by
Thai-Cambodian Joint Boundary Commission (JBC), and eject Cambodian
soldiers and villagers in border areas the group claims belong to
Thailand.

The protesters have become enfuriated when a Cambodian national flag
was flying above the entrance of Kaew Sikha Khiri Sawara temple near
historic Preah Vihear temple, charging that the former is situated well
within Thai territory.

Praising the Thai army for conducting an exercise near the border
recently, PAD spokesman Panthep Puapongphan told a press conference
that two days had passed and the Thai government is still unable to
remove the Cambodian national flag in front of the temple while the
Cambodian government insists that it would not do so.

“The prime minister must display his responsibility for what has
happened and explain [to the public] on ways to resolve the problem,”
Mr Panthep said.

He also said two out of seven Thais who were arrested by Cambodian
soldiers on charges of violating Cambodian territory on Dec 29 and are
due to appear for a court trial Tuesday must also be freed because all
were apprehended in Thai territory.

Prime Minister Abhisit, his deputy Suthep Thaugsuban and Foreign
Affairs Minister Kasit Piromya must take responsibility for the
situation and consider their political futures if the Thai government
accepts the Cambodian court verdict, Mr Panthep said.

Accompanied by two other PAD core leaders, retired Maj Gen Chamlong
Srimuang and Praphan Koonmee, Mr Panthep said the government would make
a big mistake if they disperse the PAD demonstration by force.

Meanwhile, Mr Abhisit, now attending the World Economic Forum in Davos,
Switzerland, said in a telephone interview that the border problem with
Cambodia must be carried out by peaceful manner, especially as both
countries are members of ASEAN –the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations– and his government must uphold the country’s benefits as most
important.

“The PAD has every right to make demands but the government must uphold
the country’s benefits as its priority,” Mr Abhisit said. “What the
government has done would definitely receive support from the majority
of the people in the country.” (MCOT online news)

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Categories: Local News
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