Officials Accuse Thais of Border Encroachment

A border organization has ac­cused Thai soldiers of en­croaching on Cambodian land, though provincial officials have denied the accusation.

Buth Rasmei Kongkea, president of the Khmer Borders Pro­tection Organization, said Tuesday that Thai soldiers have moved border markers and bulldozed new roads 500 meters into northwestern Cambo­dia, adding that local authorities have not inter­vened,.

A Thai embassy official who handles border issues could­n’t be reached for comment Thurs­­­day.

The KBPO spent the month of July investigating possible border violations by Thai soldiers in Koh Kong, Pursat, Battambang, Ban­teay Meanchey, and Oddor Meanchey provinces, Buth Ras­mei Kongkea said. During visits to border villages, they heard from villagers who claimed Thai soldiers knocked down the posts that mark the border.

Both Battambang’s Second Deputy Governor Pa Socheatvong and Banteay Meanchey Governor Thach Khorn said there was no incursion.

Var Kim Hong, chairman of the Border Affairs Commission at the Council of Ministers, said he had not yet read the KBPO’s statement and had no comment.

“The Cambodian border commission seems to have done nothing to resolve the encroachment. We would like to call for the Thai government to immediately cease the aggression and moving de­marcation marks into Cambo­dian soil,” Buth Rasmei Kongkea said Tuesday.

Alleged Incursions by the Thai military have been a recurring issue along the border. Past incidents have been dismissed by Thai officials as “insignificant” in one case and as a “misunderstanding” in another.

In June King Norodom Siha­nouk asked Prime Minister Hun Sen to look into possible violations by Vietnam and Thailand. The king made the request after receiving a letter from the border organization asking him to intervene.

Cambodian officials have met several times with both Thai and Vietnamese officials regarding the easily breached borders.

Thailand and Cambodia signed an agreement in July to share in­formation on border violations and crack down on criminal activity such as smuggling and illegal immigration.



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