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Thailand and Cambodia clash along border

(CNN) — Thai and Cambodian forces briefly exchanged fire
early Tuesday in an ongoing dispute over an ancient Hindu temple on the
border, according to a Thai military official.
The border
skirmish started after members of the Cambodian military threw hand
grenades, said to Col. Sansern Kaewkumnerd, a Thai military spokesman.
The Thai army responded with gunfire, he said. One Thai soldier was
seriously injured.
On Monday, the U.N. Security Council called
for a truce between the two Asian nations and urged them to begin a
dialogue to end their dispute over Preah Vihear Temple.
The
council issued its statement following a closed-door session on the
conflict that included representatives from both sides and the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“The members of
the Security Council called on the two sides to display maximum
restraint and avoid any action that may aggravate the situation,” said
the statement, read by Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil,
which holds the monthly presidency of the 15-member body for February.
“The
members of the Security Council further urged the parties to establish
a permanent ceasefire and to implement it fully and resolve the
situation peacefully and through effective dialogue,” she said.
Border
skirmishes, which started earlier this month, have killed five people,
including members of the military and civilians, a statement from ASEAN
said, adding that each nation accuses the other of firing first.
The
clashes stem from a longstanding conflict related to the 11th-century
Preah Vihear temple. The building sits on a cliff in Cambodian
territory, but the most accessible entrance to the site is on the Thai
side.
In a letter to the United Nations last week, Cambodian
Prime Minister Hun Sen said that in addition to the human toll the
fighting was taking, the temple had suffered damage.
Conflict
over the Preah Vihear site has taken place periodically for years. In
1962, the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands,
ruled that the site was in Cambodia, adding that the structure was “an
outstanding masterpiece of Khmer architecture.”
But Thailand
says the 1.8-square-mile (4.7-square-kilometer) area around Preah
Vihear was never fully demarcated, and blames a map drawn at the
beginning of the 20th century during the French occupation of Cambodia.
In
July 2008, the United Nations approved Cambodia’s application to have
the temple listed as a World Heritage Site, meaning the U.N. believes
the place has outstanding universal value.
Monday’s meeting
followed a request by Cambodia for an emergency session of the Security
Council. The council heard from Under-Secretary-General for Political
Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe and Marty Natalegawa, the minister of foreign
affairs of Indonesia and chairman of ASEAN.
Hor Namhong,
Cambodia’s deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs and
international cooperation, and Thailand’s foreign affairs minister,
Kasit Piromya, also addressed the council.
The
council also expressed its support of ASEAN’s efforts to bring the two
sides together to find a solution. ASEAN foreign ministers are expected
to discuss the conflict at their next meeting on February 22.
CNN’s Whitney Hurst and Kocha Olarn contributed to this report
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Categories: Local News
  1. Anonymous
    February 18, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    tHAILAND IS BEING PUSHED BY THE YELLOW SHIRTS TO DRIVE INTEREST TOWARDS CONFLICT AWAY WITH THE SHITTY aBISHIT GOVERNMENT PLAYING GAAMES WITH THE tHAil militRTY. nO DOUBT, cAMBODIA HAS RIGHTS TO THE TEMPLE AND TO ACCESS TO IT. tHAILAND IS A SORE LOSWER FROM THE GET-GO. fOR THAT tHAILAND HAS NO LEG TO STAND ON IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. tHEY SHOULD DROP qUEEN sIRIKIT BY PARAQCHUTE TO SEE IF SHE CAN HAD LARD TO THE FIRE.

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