At least two high-ranking Cambodian government officials have been in Bangkok since Tuesday discussing an incident at the Thai-Cambodian border in which Cambodians illegally entering Thailand accused Thai border police of shooting one of them.
Long Visalo and Hun Saphuon, both undersecretaries of state for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, arrived in Bangkok Tuesday to meet with Thai officials about the Nov 1 shooting at the border, said two officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Eighteen Cambodians were crossing into Thailand illegally near Thmar Pouk district, Banteay Meanchey province, when one of them stepped on a land mine, witnesses to the incident said.
After the land mine exploded, Thai border police converged on two Cambodians who were reportedly killed by the blast and a third survivor, whom they shot three times, the witnesses said.
The visit by the secretaries of state has been deemed “unofficial” by officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Officials at the Thai Embassy said Thursday that they were unaware of the visit.
“I do not know of any Cambodian officials meeting in Bangkok about the border incident,” said Colonel Weerasak Lomwong at the Thai Embassy.
“We are following the issue and currently requested information about the case from Bangkok,” said Thai Ambassador Asiphol Chabchigrchaidol. “We are looking into this at the local level right now. We are very concerned about this.”
Although Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Director Chum Suonry and Chhay Sokhan, director of the Ministry’s legal department, confirmed that the undersecretaries of state were in Bangkok “to discuss border issues with Thai officials,” they stopped short of saying they were in Thailand to discuss the incident.