Gov’t to Inspect Disputed Svay Rieng Border

A team of Cambodian border authorities plan to inspect a disputed area along the Vietnamese border in Svay Rieng province where an opposition lawmaker and NGO director separately claim to have been beaten by Vietnamese civilians, a border official said Sunday.

CNRP lawmaker Real Camerin and NGO director Phen Bunthoeun both say they were beaten by Vietnamese people while inside Cambodian territory in the vicinity of border post 203, where competing claims to sovereignty have led both sides to complain about encroachments.

Koy Pisey, deputy director of the secretariat of the National Authority in Charge of Border Affairs, said that government authorities would go to inspect the area soon.

“The working group will go to the location of the conflict involving the lawmaker, Real Camerin, to investigate in the location,” Ms. Pisey said by telephone.

Local media reports Sunday said the border officials would make their inspection on Thursday, but Ms. Pisey said she was not sure what day it would happen.

Mr. Camerin himself plans to return to the area on Sunday for a follow-up inspection of alleged Vietnamese encroachments into Cambodia, but Ms. Pisey said the lawmaker ought to reconsider the usefulness of his plans.

“For me personally, he should not go there,” she said. “In the past, when he went there it made things difficult for the government to resolve. When a fight takes place, who suffers? It’s both the Cambodian and Vietnamese people, and the trip will make chaos for the government to resolve.”

However, Mr. Camerin said his group would still go to the site, as he did not believe the government would continue to pay attention to alleged border violations by Vietnam if the CNRP lets up its campaign.

“We have decided to go there because there is still no clarity about our territory, because the Yuon claim we have come to attack them on their territory and the Interior Ministry says the location is still in dispute,” Mr. Camerin said, using a word for Vietnamese people that is often derogatory.

“If the government had the willingness to solve this, there would not still be a problem today.”

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