Ministry Condemns Thai Soldier’s ‘Barbarian Acts’

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent an irate letter to the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh condemning the shooting of a 55-year-old Cambodian woman near the Thai border on December 9.

In the letter, dated Wednesday, the ministry says that Phan Chem, from Oddar Meanchey province, was searching for mushrooms and cassava with two of her daughters when she “trespassed into Thai territory without knowledge of [the] borderline,” leading Thai soldiers to shoot her dead.

“The Royal Government of Cambodia strongly protests against the barbarian acts committed by the Thai soldiers, which obviously violate humanitarian principles, and would like to request Thai authorities concerned to conduct thorough investigation into the above incident and bring offender(s) to justice,” says the statement, written in English.

“The Royal Government of Cambodia would like to request again and again the Thai authorities to stop these atrocious acts against innocent Cambodian people and respect the recent agreements by leaders of the two countries.”

In top-level diplomatic meetings, Cambodia has repeatedly urged Thailand to prosecute, rather than shoot at, Cambodians who cross the border illegally, often in search of valuable timber.

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