Lawmakers Want New Border Commission

Several National Assembly lawmakers this week said they are mo­bil­izing other parliamentarians to establish an independent border commission and invited co-Minister of Interior Sar Kheng to the assembly to discuss immigration. In a letter sent Monday to King Norodom Sihanouk, Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Son Chhay said the establishment of the assembly’s tentatively named “Inde­pendent Border Com­mission” is “nec­essary to collect bor­der documents and specific Cambodian maps” which could outline borders and territory between Cam­bodia and its surrounding countries.

“Creating an independent border commission within the Nat­ional Assembly will help our lawmakers find accessible border doc­uments as the basis for border talks,” Son Chhay said Tues­day. “The border issue is everyone’s responsibility, not just the gov­ernment.”

Currently, all border issues are dis­cussed at the Council of Min­ister’s Joint Border Committee. Lawmakers have complained that the government’s Joint Bor­der Committee does not share information on border issues or even maps. “The government doesn’t want the public to know what they have done,” he said. “Every­one should have access to those materials.”

Funcinpec lawmaker Keo Remy also became involved in border issues this week, saying on Tuesday that he sent a letter to Sar Kheng that was approved by Funcinpec President Prince Nor­odom Ranariddh.

The letter, sent Tuesday, examined illegal im­migration and criticized the gov­ernment for not doing enough to stem illegal immigrants from coming into Cam­bodia.

“Illegal immigrants keep coming,” Keo Remy said Tuesday. “The government has not done enough to stop them.”

Meanwhile, the Kampuchea Krom Liberation Front—a Cam­bodian organization located in the US—stated earlier this month that it would try to overthrow the Vietnamese government, according to Senator Thach Setha, who is also president of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Coordination Committee.

Thach Setha, speaking as president of the committee, said that all Kampuchea Krom associations in Cambodia are not in­volved with the Kampuchea Krom Liberation Front.

“Kampuchea Krom people decline to use any illegal weapons or to break the law to solve Kam­puchea Krom’s problems,” Thach Setha said.

Officials refused to supply an e-mail address or contact information for the Kampuchea Krom Liberation Front.

Earlier this month, Thach Setha condemned the Vietnamese government for persecuting ethnic Khmers living in the Mekong River delta region of Vietnam, saying that Khmers in Vietnam had been threatened.

“Right now, I demand the Vietnamese government to respect human rights and to stop putting pressure on the Kampuchea Krom people,” Thach Setha said Tuesday.


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