Latest Thai Allegation that Cambodian Army Started Firing First Denied
Phnom Penh, February 15, 2011, AKP–Latest Thai Allegation that Cambodian Army Started Firing First Denied
Security Council Press Statement On Cambodia-Thailand Border Situation
Phnom Penh, February 15, 2011 AKP – The following Security Council press statement was issued on Feb. 14 by Council President Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti (Brazil) and posted on the website of the Office of the Council of Ministers of Cambodia:
“The members of the Security Council were briefed by Under-Secretary-General B. Lynn Pascoe and by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, and Chair of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Marty Natalegawa, on the situation on the border between Cambodia and Thailand.
The members of the Security Council also heard from the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cambodia, Hor Namhong, and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Thailand, Kasit Piromya.
The members of the Security Council expressed their grave concern about the recent armed clashes between Cambodia and Thailand.
The members of the Security Council called on the two sides to display maximum restraint and avoid any action that may aggravate the situation. 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.
The members of the Security Council expressed support for ASEAN’s active efforts in this matter and encouraged the parties to continue to cooperate with the organization in this regard. They welcomed the upcoming Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of ASEAN on 22 February.” –AKP
PM Meets CPV Secretary General’s Special Envoy
Phnom Penh, February 15, 2011 AKP – Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen received here on Feb. 14 H.E. Hoang Binh Quan, special envoy of H.E. Nguyen Phu Trong, new secretary general of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV).
In the meeting, H.E. Hoang Binh Quan, also chairman of CPV Commission for External Relations informed the Cambodian prime minister of the results of the 11th CPV Congress.
He further thanked the Cambodian government and the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) for the congratulatory messages for the CPV Congress and invited Samdech Techo Hun Sen to pay a visit to Vietnam in an appropriate time.
In reply, the Cambodian premier congratulated the results of the CPV Congress and expressed profound thanks to the party for maintaining the friendship and good cooperation spirit with Cambodia.
During his visit in the Kingdom, H.E. Hoang Binh Quan has also met with H.E. Say Chhum, chairman of the Standing Committee of CPP Central Committee.
According to the schedule, he will be received in a royal audience by His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni, pay courtesy calls on Senate President Samdech Akka Moha Thamma Pothisal Chea Sim and National Assembly President Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin, and meet with leaders of FUNCINPEC Party. –AKP
By LIM Nary
Cambodia Supports China’s Stance on Cambodia-Thailand Border Dispute Resolution
Phnom Penh, February 15, 2011 AKP – Cambodia supported Chinese government’s stance on an effort in seeking a resolution to end the border conflict between Cambodia and Thailand.
Cambodia welcomed and thanked the Chinese government for a statement about its stance which coincides with that of Cambodia, said H.E. Koy Kuong, spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia in reply to China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu saying on Feb. 14 that China supports the mediation efforts of ASEAN to ease the tension between Cambodia and Thailand, and is willing to play a constructive role for the proper settlement of relevant issues together with the international community including ASEAN.
China called for both sides to keep calm, exercise utmost restraint and end the military confrontation as soon as possible so as to avoid further escalation of the situation and made efforts to solve dispute through consultation.
H.E. Koy Kuong also reaffirmed Cambodia’s stance, saying that all the talks on Cambodian-Thai border dispute have to be held with the participation from the third party. –AKP
By THOU Peou
Cambodia Signs Agreements with World Bank and IFC
Phnom Penh, February 15, 2011 AKP – Cambodia and two financial institutions reached the Financing Agreement and Risk Sharing Framework Agreement for the Agribusiness Access to Finance Project in Phnom Penh late last week.
The agreements were signed by H.E. Keat Chhon, deputy prime minister and minister of Economy and Finance with Ms. Annette Dixon, country director of World Bank and Mr. Simon Andrews, regional manager of the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Under the agreements, World Bank will finance US$5 million while IFC agree to provide a loan of US$20 million to Cambodia to support the eight-year (2011-2018) project, which helps encourage the commercial banks to provide loans or credits to small and medium enterprises in the field of agro-industry, especially the rice production for export, H.E. Keat Chhon said. –AKP
By KHAN Sophirom
Six Senior Cambodian Police Officers Leave for ILEA
Phnom Penh, February 15, 2011 AKP – Six senior Cambodian police officers departed here on Feb. 13 for study at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Bangkok, Thailand.
According to a police officer, the six police officers will attend a six-week training course on international law against cross border crimes.
The course is aimed to increase the effectiveness of the regional cooperation, so as to combat cross border crimes including drug trafficking and financial crimes, etc., according to another police officer.
The six-week training course is sponsored by the American government. –AKP
By CHEA Vannak
Editorial: Thai Claims Outrageous
Phnom Penh, February 15, 2011 AKP – Thailand claimed that Cambodia attacked first when hostilities broke out 10 days ago at the Preah Vihear temple region.
Thailand also claimed, via its premier, that Cambodia positioned troops at the world heritage of Preah Vihear.
Facts or fiction?
Thailand’s GDP (Purchasing Power Parity) for 2010 at constant prices was estimated at $580.3 billion USD. The population of Thailand in 2010 was estimated at 67,764 million. Land mass of 513,120 sq km. And armed forces, including paramilitary, as of 2008 at 665,000, including modern main battle tanks, F 16 fighter jets, and attack helicopters as well as naval units.
Cambodia’s GDP (Purchasing Power Parity was USD29.5 billion. Cambodia had 14 million people. Land area: 181,035 sq kms and armed forces of approximately 100,000, a virtually non existent air force and naval units.
Given the above, would anyone of a sane and rational mind ever belief what Thai premier Abihisit alleged – that Cambodia attacked Thai military and civilian units across the tenacious border of Preah Vihear over four consecutive days early February?
Is this logical for Cambodia to actually mount an offensive against Thailand as claimed and foolishly alleged by Thailand? Cambodia is a vastly smaller neighbor, struggling to build its economy, build infrastructure and bring basic amenities to her people.
On the contrary, it would be outrageous, ridiculous and even outright stupid for Cambodia to launch any offensive against Thailand in the battle field as it is outnumbered in every single aspect of the armed forces – from the military to the air force, to the navy and to the paramilitary and even the civilian police force.
In the absence of an air force, attack helicopters, modern main battle tanks, inadequate supply base and nightmarish logistics, no one ever believe Cambodia is capable of mounting any form of attack against Thailand.
Cambodia, which emerged from three decades of civil war 1970- 1998 during which her infrastructures were devastated and tens of thousands of people were killed, is tired of fighting.
It is clear and evident that Thai Premier Abhisit, fearing an international public relations nightmare and a highly likely scenario of being sanctioned by the UNSC, ASEAN, UNESCO and other international institutions, has embarked on a much maligned public relations campaign to say that the victim has been the aggressor. The above facts speak volumes of this, including Thai threat to unleash its mighty air force on Cambodia if Cambodia did not withdraw from its own territory!
Surely the international community and ASEAN are matured enough and have within them, the capability of rational thinking based on the facts on the grounds to judge or conclude who is the aggressor and who is the victim!
Furthermore Abhisit also alleged that Cambodia used the world heritage of Preah Vihear to house troops and launch attacks on Thai territory. This is another outrageous lie and false propaganda designed to pull wool over the international community’s eyes and reasoning.
Cambodia has to defense the vicinity of Preah Vihear Temple given the fact that Thai has tried on several occasions by military means to occupy the Temple’s surrounding area, which is under the Cambodia’s territory.
This is the opening Thailand is seeking, yearning and even prepared to die for. Thailand wants to walk into the Preah Vihear temple unopposed, unchallenged and plant its flag on sovereign Cambodian soil. Thailand intended and intends to do this unopposed and by masking its intentions by alleging that Cambodia is using the world heritage as a military base.
This lies and malicious rumors are precisely the reason why Cambodia has invited United Nations military observers to take up positions in the Preah Vihear temple region and its vicinity, sovereign Cambodian territory so that the international community can see up close and in person, that Cambodia is indeed a victim of Thailand’s grand scheme of annexing Cambodian soil, seizing Cambodia’s and the world cultural heritage from right under the nose of Cambodia and the world community!
This would indeed be the case if Cambodia left the temple unguarded as history and the ICJ has proven that Thais have looted the Preah Vihear temple for centuries and will continue to do so, even if they have no legal, cultural, historical and or moral right to the temple or its vicinity.
Cambodia, by appealing to the UNSC and the world community, including UNESCO to take up its just cause, has done the right thing as an intransigent Thailand has proven time and again in decades that it cannot be trusted or depended upon to accept internationally binding verdicts not bilateral agreements as it harbors territorial ambitions and to claim as its own, what it does not own or understand in the first place!
(Ek Madra, a Cambodian roaming journalist)
(The comments are solely the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Royal Government of Cambodia.)