Home > Local News > [ Thai PM ] orders Cambodian flags to be taken down

[ Thai PM ] orders Cambodian flags to be taken down

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is insisting
that any Cambodian flag flying above disputed areas must be removed,
despite Phnom Penh denouncing the call as “insulting and unacceptable”.
The Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement
criticising Mr Abhisit’s demand, saying the call, in parallel with Thai
military exercises last week near the border, was provocative.
Mr Abhisit called for the removal of the Cambodian flags yesterday during his weekly radio and television address.
Cambodia is flying its national flag near Wat Kaew Sikha Khiri
Sawara temple in the disputed 4.6-square-kilometre area near Preah
Vihear temple.
Mr Abhisit said the area did not belong to Cambodia and ordered the
Thai Foreign Affairs Ministry to protest against Cambodia’s
announcement that he had violated its sovereignty by ordering the
removal of the flag.
The prime minister also reaffirmed yesterday that he would not meet
the demands of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, which is protesting
against the government’s handling of the border row.
The PAD is calling on the government to revoke the 2000 memorandum
of understanding between Thailand and Cambodia that governs the
countries’ boundary quarrel, to withdraw from the World Heritage
Committee, and to expel Cambodian people from the disputed area.
Mr Abhisit said it was a misunderstanding that the border agreement
allowed Cambodia to encroach on Thai territory. He said the memorandum
prohibited either country from further intruding on the other’s land.
He denied the agreement put Thailand at a disadvantage or meant that
Thailand accepted a 1:200,000 border map used by Cambodia. He insisted
the memo was drawn up in line with international principles and could
help prevent the disagreement escalating into war.
As for the membership of the World Heritage Committee, Mr Abhisit
said the past government of Thailand allowed Cambodia to have the Preah
Vihear temple listed as a world heritage site, while his government had
resisted Cambodia’s desire to manage the temple as a world heritage
site alone.
Regarding the expulsion of Cambodian people from the disputed area,
the prime minister said such a move could trigger retaliations.
The secretary to the foreign minister, Chavanond Intarakomalyasut,
said yesterday the Foreign Ministry would issue a letter of protest
against Cambodia’s statement accusing Mr Abhisit of violating its
sovereignty.
“We should help each other avoid conflicts and should not issue any
statement that will lead to more conflicts and confusion,” he said.
Bangkok post
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Categories: Local News
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