Sunday, 30 January 2011

Thailand to protest to Cambodia over disputed temple

via CAAI

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 30 -- Thailand will issue a protest note to Cambodia after the Cambodian government issued a statement condemning Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva for his remarks asking Cambodia to remove its national flag flying at the entrance of a disputed ancient temple which sits on the border, a senior Thai Foreign Affairs Ministry official said Sunday.

Chavanont Intarakomalsut, secretary to the foreign affairs minister, told journalists that the statement issued by the  Cambodian foreign ministry charging that Thailand had violated Cambodian integrity and sovereignty would not help provide a conciliatory atmosphere for talks between the two neighbouring countries aimed at resolving the border problem under the Thai-Cambodian Joint Boundary Commission (JBC) framework.

Phnom Penh issued the statement after Mr Abhisit asked the Cambodian government to remove its national flag erected above the entrance of Kaew Sikha Khiri Sawara temple near historic Preah Vihear.

Mr Chavanont, who is accompanying Mr Abhisit who is attending the 41st World Economic Forum now in progress in Davos, said the statement should not have been issued at all as it would “create more conflicts and confusion”.

Thailand follows the watershed line as the border marking the two countries and if the Cambodian government believes its map shows the genuine watershed line then the two countries should sit down and talk, Mr Chavanont said.

Since the border is still unclear and both countries still claim ownership, neither Thailand nor Cambodia should act as if it owns the disputed land, he said.

Mr Chavanont said his ministry would definitely issue a protest note to Cambodia in order to enable Phnom Penh to better understand the whole scenario.

The yet to be issued protest is not expected to affect the two Thais now detained in Phnom Penh on charges of trespassing and espionage. The duo are scheduled to appear for trial this Tuesday. (MCOT online news)

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