MILITARY commanders stationed near Preah Vihear temple said Sunday that construction of a new road connecting Ko Muoy village 7 kilometres west of the complex is nearly complete and will make the transfer of troops to the Thai-Cambodian border area more efficient.
Yim Phim, commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Brigade 8, said workers had less than one full day of labour to complete the final 100 metres of the Ko Muoy road.
“This road is part of a military strategy to make troops more mobile and to get them to the front line more rapidly,” he said.
Also Sunday, Ten Navun, an officer for RCAF Battalion 404, said soldiers were continuing to build concrete trenches and buildings at the front line in Chom Ksan district, 7 kilometres east of the temple complex.
The announcement comes less than two weeks after Thai Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban was quoted in the Bangkok Post as saying that roads built by the Cambodian government near Preah Vihear temple did not necessarily belong to Cambodia.
At a press conference on Friday, Pen Ngoeun, an adviser to the Council of Ministers, criticised Thai officials for using a “unilateral map” to justify claims to disputed border territory.
He also said Thailand had ignored a 1962 ruling from the International Court of Justice asserting that the temple belonged to Cambodia.
“The truth is that Thailand still has ambitions to take Cambodian territory,” he said.
Officials at the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh could not be reached Sunday.
Risky swim in Siem Reap river comes to tragic end
A spot of fun in Siem Reap’s flooded river turned to tragedy on Saturday when 17-year-old high school student Amkong Chamroeun tried to help a friend he was swimming with in the swollen river who had shouted for help. The young man was rescued by onlookers, but Amkong Chamroeun disappeared beneath the floodwaters. An extensive search failed to locate the body, but relatives kept vigil by the river on Sunday. The boy’s uncle, who asked not to be named, said: “I feel very sorry to lose my beloved nephew, and I call for the police to educate children who swim in the river for fun. It could kill them, especially during the flood when there are big waves.” Tes Chhay Yaridth, 11, lives nearby and had heard of the news. “My parents told me not to go and play in the water,” he said. “I am now afraid to go in the river, but in reality I want to play in the water and have fun with my friends.”