Saturday, 5 February 2011

Cambodia Sends Letter To U.N Security Council On Border Clash

via CAAI

PHNOM PENH, Feb 5 (Bernama) -- Cambodia has sent a letter on Saturday to the United Nations Security Council informing that Thailand had entered Cambodia and attacked Cambodian troops, reports China's Xinhua news agency.

In a letter dated Feb 5, was sent to Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, president of the UNSC, Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong, saying that on Friday, between 3 to 5 pm, about 300 Thai troops entered Cambodian territory and attacked Cambodian troops at three locations.

"This aggression by Thai armed forces was also followed by firing of many 130 mm and 155 mm artillery shells which reached as far as about 20 km inside Cambodian territory. The attack caused many serious damages to the Temple of Preah Vihear, a world heritage, as well as death and injury of more than ten Cambodian troops and villagers," the letter said.

And facing this flagrant aggression, Cambodian troops had no option, but to retaliate in self-defense and in order to safeguard Cambodia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, the letter added.

Hor Namhong said in the letter that the repeated acts of aggression against Cambodia by Thailand violate the Judgment of International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 15 June, 1962; article 2.3, 2.4, and 94.1 of the United Nations' Charter; the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in Southeast Asia, Article 2 in which Cambodia and Thailand are parties; and Article 2.2.c, 2.2.d, of the Paris Peace Accord in 1991.

Hor Namhong asked president of the UNSC to circulate this letter to all members of the United Nations Security Council as an official document.

As of Saturday, two rounds of fighting were erupted near Preah Vihear Temple, and the number of casualties remained conflicting between the two sides.

Kasit Piromya, Thai foreign minister said Friday evening that Thailand will also inform other parties including UNESCO on the border incident.

While situation remained tense at the border by Saturday lunch time, military commanders are holding meeting to defuse the tension.

Both sides have been blaming the other of launching the fire first.

The relations between Thailand and Cambodia had been strained recently over the territorial dispute as Cambodia refused to remove its national flag from the front of Wat Keo Sikha Kiri Svarak pagoda, which is located in the contentious areas of 4.6 square kilometers (1.8 square miles) around the Preah Vihear temple.

The border between Thailand and Cambodia has never been completely demarcated and the issue of ancient temple has been an age-old dispute. Although the International Court of Justice in 1962 awarded the temple itself to Cambodia, the row over land plot of 4.6 square kilometers surrounding the temple have never been solved.

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