Provincial Governors Thankful for Border Map

The governors of Kandal and Tbong Khmum provinces said Wednesday that their newfound possession of official maps of Cambodia’s border with Vietnam will allow authorities to manage the border properly after years in the dark.

Interior Minister Sar Kheng held a meeting on Tuesday to instruct authorities from border-hugging provinces to reduce tensions along stretches of the Vietnamese border where territorial disputes have broken out.

Among other directives, Mr. Kheng told local officials to stop directly negotiating borderlines with “friends” from Vietnam. The governors were also provided copies of the map of Cambodia’s border with Vietnam.

Tbong Khmum provincial governor Prach Chan said Wednesday that the new resource would help him.

“Now we have the map in our hands, so when there are problems we can know where our border is,” Mr. Chan said. “We can explain to our people to let them know where our land is and where they are posting the [border] poles.”

Mao Phirun, the governor of Kandal province, said his authorities would use the map to determine who is correct when Cambodian and Vietnamese villagers have land disputes.

“We’ll use it to check the real geography to see and know where Cambodia and Vietnam’s land is without estimating,” he said.

“This map will let us make a clear argument and help us when we report to the top leaders about compliance with the correct map.”

Separately, CNRP lawmaker Real Camerin, who has led a spate of recent trips to the border to highlight alleged Vietnamese territorial encroachments, was on Wednesday given permission to visit border posts in Svay Rieng on Sunday.

A government working group is set to inspect the area around the posts in Svay Rieng on Thursday.

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