PRIME Minister Hun Sen told visiting United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon yesterday that the Kingdom’s ongoing border dispute with Thailand has been caused solely by the Thais’ encroachment on Cambodian territory.
Hun Sen said other points of contention between the countries were secondary to Thailand’s violation of Cambodian sovereignty, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong told reporters following the meeting.
“The issue is not related to the inscription of Preah Vihear temple or the appointment of Thaksin, because he has resigned already,” Hor Namhong said.
Fugitive former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was appointed economic adviser to the Cambodian government last year, staging several high-profile visits to Cambodia that drew the ire of his political enemies in Bangkok. The Cambodian government announced Thaksin’s resignation in August, prompting Thailand to restore its ambassador to Phnom Penh and upgrade diplomatic relations.
The countries have clashed periodically along their contentious border near Preah Vihear temple following its inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008. At a UNESCO meeting in Brazil earlier this year, Cambodia submitted a management plan for Preah Vihear over Thai objections.
In August, Hun Sen wrote a letter to the UN Security Council accusing Thai premier Abhisit Vejjajiva of violating the UN Charter following reports that Abhisit had discussed the possible use of military force at the border. Abhisit later claimed he had been misquoted.
Also yesterday, officials from the opposition Sam Rainsy Party met with B Lynn Pascoe, the UN’s undersecretary general for Political Affairs.
In a letter to Ban dated yesterday, SRP president Sam Rainsy said the Kingdom was suffering from “a deterioration in the human rights situation” and “the suppression of all forms of criticism and protest”.