Thirty-four CPP lawmakers dropped off food and cash to Cambodian troops camped at the disputed area around Preah Vihear temple Sunday, though opposition lawmakers, who have previously been barred from the temple area, said they were unaware parliamentarians were traveling to the site.
The legislators thanked the soldiers and delivered food, such as fish sauce and noodles, and 200 million riel (about $50,000) donated from CPP officials, CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said Monday.
He said he publicized his intent to travel to the temple at the National Assembly, but that no one from other parties chose to join him.
Opposition party leaders said they were surprised by the trip, considering several of them had tried to reach the temple only to be turned back by the military.
“It’s very new to me,” SRP Pres-ident Sam Rainsy said Monday of the military-sanctioned visit.
Preah Vihear provincial RCAF Commander General Som Bophar-ath said the relative calm allowed for the CPP group’s visit.
“The situation is stable at the border and we allowed them to visit the temple and military during this time,” he said. “We did not discriminate against the other parties.”
Sam Rainsy said if the information is correct, he will plan a trip with other opposition party members to the area maybe by next week.
Sam Rainsy said the lawmakers want to gauge for themselves the morale and living conditions of the Cambodian troops. “We want to check if all of these donations have reached them and find out what else they need,” he said.
Human Rights Party President Kem Sokha said authorities were discriminating against his party.
“The military prevented me and other HRP delegates from donating to the soldiers at Preah Vihear,” he said Monday. “They stopped me in the jungle at the mountain and they discriminated” against me.
(Additional reporting by Frank Radosevich)