Gov’t Condemns Thai Border Activist’s Plans

Government officials reacted strongly yesterday to outspoken Thai nationalist Veera Somkwamkid who reportedly has plans to remove temporary Thai-Cambodian border posts near Ta Moan Toch temple in Oddar Meanchey province this coming Sunday.

Several news organizations have reported that Mr Somkwamkid told Thailand’s Matichon newspaper on April 16 that he planned to march to the border area on May 2 and uproot border posts.

Yesterday, CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap told the National Assembly that he had heard about Mr Somkwamkid’s plans.

“I request that the Assembly president, the government and the lawmakers condemn these Thai invaders,” Mr Yeap said of reports to protest at the temple.

“We have complained to…stop him and others from invading Cambodian territory [through] the Thai Embassy in Cambodia,” he said.

Mr Somkwamkid, a member of the Thai People’s Alliance for Democracy, could not be contacted yesterday to confirm whether he still planned to uproot the border posts.

Last week, Cambodian and Thai troops clashed at the border in Oddar Meanchey province.

RCAF spokesman Lieutenant General Chhum Sucheat said yesterday that the military was prepared to stop Mr Somkwamkid if he tried to uproot the border posts near Ta Moan Toch temple.

“There is a temporary border marker on the Thai side and a border marker on the Cambodian side,” Lt Gen Sucheat said.

“If [Mr Somkwamkid and his group] destroy the border marker on the Thai side, then that is okay…. [But] if they move in and try and uproot the border pillar on the Cambodian side, the authorities will be forced to stop them,” he said.

SRP lawmaker and spokesman Yim Sovann yesterday said the SRP “strongly supported” the government’s efforts to defend the border markers.

“We support the government to solve this problem with the neighboring country by peaceful [means],” he said.

In a Bangkok Post story earlier this month, Mr Somkwamkid accused Prime Minister Hun Sen of trying to take control of other disputed areas along the Thai-Cambodian border.


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