Malaysia Blames Thailand over Cambodia Border Clash
AKP Phnom Penh, May 10, 2011 – Malaysia on Monday blamed Thailand for the renewed clashes on the Thai-Cambodia border, saying it had reneged on a deal to send observers to the disputed region.
The dispute overshadowed a weekend summit of the 10-member Southeast Asian bloc, where Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen launched into a tirade against Thailand over the conflict that has left 18 dead since last month.
Thailand and Cambodia agreed in February to accept Indonesian military observers on the border but the initiative remains on ice due to Thai demands that Cambodia first pull troops out of the temple.
“An agreement had been agreed upon, (Thailand) should adhere to it, I wouldn’t want to say lacking in faith… (but) they did not adhere to the agreement,” Malaysian deputy foreign minister Richard Riot Jaem told reporters.
“Thailand refused and that’s why the skirmish came again,” said Riot, who attended the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting where it was agreed 30 observers would be stationed on either side of the border.
“All the 10 countries, I stress, including Thailand and Cambodia, agreed to the agreement but sad to say, the agreement was brought back to the respective two countries. Cambodia accepted it, Thailand did not accept,” he said.
“Before this, Cambodia was pointing at Thailand as starting the attack and Thailand said it was Cambodia who started …so to (determine) who started the skirmish… the foreign ministers decided to assign observers.”
Some 85,000 people have been temporarily displaced in weeks of clashes over ownership of a small patch of territory surrounding an 11th-century Khmer temple. The temple itself belongs to Cambodia.
The relationship between the two countries has been strained since the 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple was granted UN World Heritage status in July 2008.
Sporadic cross-border fights have erupted since then, occasionally claiming lives, but the recent violence — mainly at a new flashpoint about 150 km (90 miles) west of Preah Vihear — has been the fiercest yet.
ASEAN’s weakness in conflict resolution was thrown into stark relief Sunday when the leaders’ final statement after the summit in Jakarta merely said the dispute “should be amicably resolved in the spirit of ASEAN solidarity”.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono hosted an unscheduled meeting with the Thai and Cambodian leaders on Sunday but it failed to achieve a breakthrough in negotiations.
Mon, May 09, 2011
AIPA Calls for Peaceful Solutions to Conflicts
AKP Phnom Penh, May 10, 2011 – The ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) has appealed to the leaders of the member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to properly respect the Charter of the United Nations and the ASEAN Charter, especially in the conflict-solving mechanism.
State PhD Cheam Yeap was speaking late Sunday at a press conference at the airport following the return of Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin, President of the National Assembly, from Indonesia, where he attended the meeting of the Heads of State, the Heads of Government and the AIPA delegations.
State PhD Cheam Yeap referred to the Chapter 8 on the dispute resolution in the ASEAN Charter ….and the regional mechanism in timely settling the regional problems with a view to guaranteeing peace for building the ASEAN Community in 2015.
Speaking at the meeting in the name of AIPA President, Samdech Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin pointed out the important role of the ASEAN and AIPA in leading all countries in the region to making joint efforts in preserving peace, stability, development and prosperity in this region of the world, as part of the ASEAN Charter’s perspective, according to State PhD Cheam Yeap.
Article in Khmer by CHIM Nary
Article in English by Ravuth M.
Cambodia Gains Much Supports in ICAPP Conference on Natural Disasters and Environmental Protection
AKP Phnom Penh, May 10, 2011 – Cambodia gained much supports for the resolution in Cambodia-Thailand border dispute in the ICAPP Conference on Natural Disasters and Environmental Protection, said Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Sok An.
H.E. Sok An, Minister in charge of the Council of Ministers’ Office told this to reporters upon arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport on May 8 on his way back from Malaysia, where he led a delegation of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) to participate in the 15th International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) held from May 5 to 7.
ICAPP issued a statement, supporting Cambodia and demanding to halt all aggressive acts made by Thailand, as well as endorsing the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s appeals to both sides to take “immediate measures for an effective and verifiable ceasefire”.
ICAPP also asked ASEAN leaders to do the best to enter the issue in the process of ASEAN Summit, so as to reach an effective and verifiable ceasefire.
ICAPP issued a statement dealing with the aggressive acts by Thailand, after Cambodia was asked to present arguments that Thailand encroached on Cambodian territorial integrity, he said.
The 15th ICAPP Conference on Natural Disasters and Environmental Protection, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was attended by 93 delegates from 40 political parties and 41 speakers of ASEAN countries.
The conference was held following the ICAPP General Assembly hosted by the Cambodian Peoples’ Party (CPP) in Phnom Penh on December 2010 with the participation of 100 political parties and foreign institutions.
The conference discussed on tackling natural disasters such as floods, droughts, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslides, tsunami and others.
In addition, the conference decided to set up a mechanism, named International Medical Emergency Forum (IMEF), for collecting the possibility for assistance in case of natural disaster outbreak and other organization, called Asia Pacific SOS Emergency Assistance and Security Center.
By THOU Peou