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Feisty dispute turns into a war of words

Thailand and Cambodia put their case in letters to UN Security Council president Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti.
 Debris clutters the entrance to a school at Ban Phum Srol. JETJARAS NA RANONG

CAMBODIA

“Once again, despite negotiation by the field commander of both
sides for a cease fire, on 6 February, 2011 [Sunday], at 18:20, Thai
armed forces launched a full scale armed aggression against Cambodia,
using heavy sophisticated weapons including many 105, 120, 130, 155
artillery shells which were fired into the TEMPLE OF PREAH VIHEAR, a
World Heritage [site], the region of TASEM, VEAL INTRY and PHNOM TRAP
hill and others. All these areas are well inside Cambodian territory.
Thai artillery shells have landed as far as approximately 20 km inside
the Cambodian territory.
“While I write this letter to Your Excellency, Thai armed forces
still continue firing of heavy weapons into Cambodian territory.
“This fresh onslaught by Thai armed forces has resulted in more
human casualties and damages to the TEMPLE OF PREAH VIHEAR as well as
other properties.”
It continues: “Considering this recent extremely grave aggressions
by Thailand, which has gravely threatened peace and stability in the
region, I earnestly request Your Excellency to convene an urgent
meeting of the United Nations Security Council so as to stop Thailand’s
aggression. I would also highly appreciate it if Your Excellency could
circulate this letter to all members of the United Nations Security
Council as an official document.”
A man looks at a huge crater in front of a house in the border village
of Ban Don-aow. The crater was caused by a rocket fired from Cambodian
soil that narrowly missed hitting the house. JETJARAS NA RANONG

THAILAND

1.Following the incidents of armed attacks in the afternoon of 4
February and again in the early morning of 5 February 2011, both of
which were initiated by Cambodia, both Thai and Cambodian regional
commanders met at Chong Sa-ngam Pass, Si Sa Ket Province, Thailand, in
the morning of 5 February 2011. At that meeting, they reached an
agreement on immediate ceasefire.
2.However, on 6 February 2011, at 18.30 hours, Cambodian troops
breached the above agreement by opening fire, preceded by firing of
military illumination flares into the sky, into Chong Don Ao Pass and
Phu Ma Khua in Thai territory before launching attacks to other areas
in Thai territory, namely Sattasom Hill, Phlan Yao, Chong Ta Thao Pass,
the area near the Temple of Phra Viharn, and the Phum Srol village.
The incident resulted in severe destruction of many civilian
structures and injury of two Thai civilians and eight Thai military
personnel, one of which has sustained serious injury. Again, about
15,000 innocent villagers living along the border where the attacks
took place had to be evacuated.
3.At 08.17 hours of 7 February 2011 Cambodian troops opened fire at
Thai military personnel stationing at Phu Ma Khua and Phlan Yao in Thai
territory. The incident lasted until 08.27 hours. Casualties from the
attack are under investigation.
4.In this connection, Thailand categorically rejects the allegation
made by Cambodia that Thailand initiated the attacks. The fact is that
Thailand has always exercised utmost self-restraint, but in the face of
such unprovoked armed attacks from Cambodia, it had no choice but to
exercise its inherent right of self-defence.
An anti-war group gathers at the Victory Monument and arranges candles
in a peace symbol to call for a stop to fighting between Thailand and
Cambodia. PAWAT LAOPAISARNTAKSIN
5.Thailand therefore protests in the strongest terms against
Cambodia’s blatant violation of Thailand’s sovereignty and territorial
integrity and its attacks on Thai civilians and properties.
6.Thailand is gravely concerned about the use of the Temple of Phra
Viharn by Cambodia for military purposes, which is in violation of the
international law, in particular the Article 4 (1) of the 1954 Hague
Convention on Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed
Conflict.
7.Thailand wishes to point out the fact that the attacks by
Cambodian troops on 6 February 2011 were intentionally launched at
night time. These attacks were pre-meditated and well planned in
advance to create a situation which would serve Cambodia’s political
objective of internationalising what is essentially a bilateral issue
while bilateral negotiations are still ongoing. The swiftness of the
release of the letter from the Prime Minister of Cambodia to Your
Excellency dated 6 February 2011, shortly after the attacks started,
only confirms the pre-meditated nature of the attacks and unfriendly
intention.
8.It is the firm conviction of Thailand that any differences between countries shall be settled by peaceful means.
9.Thailand wishes to reiterate its commitment to working closely with Cambodia through existing bilateral frameworks.
10.Thailand hopes that, with all bilateral channels of communication
still open and ongoing dialogue by officials of both countries, the
situation in this specific border area will return to normalcy soon.
Second Army commander Tawatchai Samutsakhon, left, and Suranaree Task
Force commander Chavalit Choonprasarn take a break in front of a
convenience store in Si Sa Ket’s Kantharalak district. WASSANA NANUAM
A Don-aow villager stands behind parts of a rocket Cambodian soldiers fired into Thai territory. JETJARAS NA RANONG

Thais occupy a campin front of Kantharalak district office, Si Sa Ket. JETJARASNA RANONG

Amonkwalks on a deserted road at Ban PhumSrol after villagers fled the
village following the border clashes. PHONGTHAIWATTANAVANIATVUT

A group of villagers board ane-tan farm truck as they flee their
villages in SiSa Ket’s Kantharalak district. PHONGTHAIWATTANAVANIATVUT
Bangkok Post
 
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Categories: Local News
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