Sunday, 6 March 2011

Cambodian border visit annoys Thailand

via CAAI

BANGKOK, March 4 (UPI) -- The Cambodian government gave a group of visiting military attaches a tour of a temple in a border area also claimed by Thailand, a Thai military official said.

The official, whose name was not reported, told the Bangkok Post the Thai government regards the trip as a breach of an agreement with Cambodia. But the source said the government's responses are limited.

"If we open fire, this will play into the hands of Cambodia and it will show the world that we started the fight," he said.

Military officers from France, Russia, China, Japan, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Vietnam and Laos were given a tour of the area and the Preah Vihear Temple, the source said. They were observed by Thai soldiers through binoculars.

The military task force in the region in Thailand lodged a protest with their Cambodian counterparts, the source said.

Thai Patriots Network coordinator Veera Somkwamkid was sentenced to two-to-eight years in prison, and his secretary, Ratree Pipatanapaiboon, was sentenced to six years for illegal entry into Cambodia and espionage.

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