Home > Hun Sen, Local News > Abhisit sends protest note to UN [PM counters Hun Sen’s allegations of ‘invasion’ ]

Abhisit sends protest note to UN [PM counters Hun Sen’s allegations of ‘invasion’ ]

Thailand has countered a diplomatic initiative
by Cambodia by sending a protest note to the United Nations Security
Council accusing Phnom Penh of provoking the border conflict that led
to clashes between their troops over the past four days.
Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva
The protest note signed by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva followed
a request from Cambodia to the UNSC on Sunday asking the world
organisation to bring an end to Thailand’s “invasion of Cambodia”.
Thai and Cambodian soldiers have exchanged artillery fire across the
border near Preah Vihear temple every day since Friday, with each
accusing the other of starting the hostilities.
The fourth day of cross-border shelling erupted yesterday morning
after fierce fighting on Sunday night, despite a ceasefire being agreed
to by field commanders from the two countries on Saturday.
At least five people – three Cambodians and two Thais – have been
confirmed killed and scores of others wounded in the skirmishes which
caused damage to the world heritage-listed Preah Vihear temple.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen claimed in his letter to the UNSC
on Sunday that Thai soldiers had launched a full-scale offensive
against Cambodian soldiers despite the truce agreement following
clashes on Friday and Saturday.
He called on the world body to intervene by sending peacekeepers to act as a buffer between the two countries’ forces.
The secretary to the foreign affairs minister, Chavanond
Intarakomalyasut, yesterday said it was Cambodian soldiers who started
the conflict by firing on a Thai military post on Friday.
“The Thai government feels that Cambodia wants the international
community to intervene in the case because Cambodian Prime Minister Hun
Sen sent his letter to the UNSC while the fighting is still under way,”
Mr Chavanond said.
Thailand insists the border dispute is a bilateral issue that can
best be solved by the two countries sitting down to negotiations.
Mr Chavanond and acting government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn
stressed this position at a news conference held yesterday to call on
Cambodia to join Thailand in settling the border dispute through
existing bilateral mechanisms.
Thailand informed the UNSC of the two countries’ intention to hold a
Joint Boundary Committee meeting this month to discuss the border
conflict, Mr Chavanond said. The last JBC meeting took place in 2009.
Thailand and Cambodia were encouraged yesterday to avoid the use of force to settle the border dispute.
A statement issued by the spokesman for the UN secretary-general
said Ban Ki-moon was “deeply concerned” by the fighting and urged both
sides “to exercise maximum restraint”.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, who represents his
country as chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations,
visited Cambodia yesterday in a bid to help mediate a peaceful solution
to the conflict. He is scheduled to visit Thailand today.
China also called on Thailand and Cambodia to remain calm amid the escalating border clashes.
“Both Cambodia and Thailand are China’s friendly neighbours,”
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement issued
yesterday.
“China hopes that the two sides will exercise calmness and
restraint, resolve disputes through consultation, and prevent the
situation from escalating.”
Singapore expressed “deep concern” over the deadly border battles.
“We urge Thailand and Cambodia to resolve their differences through negotiations,” a foreign ministry spokesman said.
“This is important both for their long-term relationship, as well as in the broader interests of Asean.”

Army admits firing on ancient temple

The 11th-century Preah Vihear temple has been damaged in fighting
between Thailand and Cambodia after Cambodian troops used the temple as
a military base to fire on Thai soldiers, says army spokesman Sansern
Kaewkamnerd.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen sent a letter to the United Nations
Security Commission on Sunday accusing Thai troops of firing at the
Hindu temple, which is listed as a world heritage site.
Col Sansern said yesterday Cambodian soldiers used the Preah Vihear
temple as a heavy arms base to fire at Thai soldiers stationed in areas
in Thai territory that were at lower elevation.
Col Sansern on Sunday dismissed Cambodian reports of damage to the Preah Vihear temple as “propaganda”.
Bangkok Post
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Categories: Hun Sen, Local News
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