Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Troops Tighten Thai-Cambodian Border Security

via CAAI

UPDATE : 25 January 2011

Cambodia has beefed up security at its heritage sites along the disputed Thai-Cambodian border area.

Meanwhile, Thai troops have also implemented similar security measures and urged all Thais to be cautious when approaching the border.

Fully-armed Thai soldiers along the Thai–Cambodian border have set up checkpoints on the roads leading in and out of the disputed Preah Vihear Temple in Si Sa Ket's Kantharalak district.

Troops have prohibited unrelated personnel and individuals from entering the disputed border zone after Cambodia put up a controversial sign at Kaew Sikha Khiri Sawara Temple claiming it was the spot where Thai troops had trespassed on the Cambodian territory.

The move has put a sour note on the already tensed Thai-Cambodian relations.

Second Army Region Commander Lieutenant General Thawatchai Samutsakorn has planned to travel to Kaew Sikha Khiri Sawara Temple to meet with Cambodia's military officials.

Thai residents in Phumisrol village, situated near the disputed Preah Vihear Temple, fear a full-scale war could erupt at any time and some have packed their belongings and prepared for an immediate evacuation.

At the ancient Tamuanthom Temple in Surin's Phanom Dongrak district, Cambodian troops have constructed roads and bunkers just 100 meters away from the temple.

Additional 300 soldiers with heavy weapons are on standby 500 meters from the temple.

More units from the Second Army Region have been dispatched to Tamuanthom Temple area and troops have been put on the highest alert.

Meanwhile, at Takwai Temple in Phanom Dongrak's Bak Dai subdistrict, Second Region Army soldiers and military engineers have constructed a route leading to the temple in order to facilitate troop mobilization, reducing the traveling distance from three kilometers to one.

Cambodian border troops have also built roads leading to the temple and for reinforcements of personnel and firearms.

There have been rumors that Cambodian troops are attempting to lay claim to Takwai Temple and the recently-built roads have attracted a large number of Cambodian tourists to the site while Thai tourists have avoided the heritage site.

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