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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Granite posts mark border agreed with Vietnam

Granite posts mark border agreed with Vietnam

Prime Minister Hun Sen and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will plant the first of 353 border posts on September 27 at Svay Rieng province's Bavet international crossing.

Var Kim Hong , Chairman of Cambodia's Border Committee, told the Post on September 14 that the two countries will put 353 posts along their 1,270-km border and expect to finish by 2008.

Hong said Vietnam was fronting up with the $15 million cost for making the posts, but it was possible Cambodia might eventually have to pay half of that. The posts were 2.2 meters tall and made of granite or a granite-cement mix.

On August 4 the Council of Ministers approved an image of three towers of Angkor Wat as an emblem to be engraved on the Cambodia-facing side of the border posts.

"I think the border demarcation will complete by the end of 2008, according to a bilateral agreement made in 2005," Hong said

Funcinpec issued a statement on September 16 from party president Prince Norodom Ranariddh saying that Funcinpec officials had not been allowed to participate in the border demarcation process, so Funcinpec would not accept responsibility for the border.

"Funcinpec supported the supplemental border treaty between Cambodia and Vietnam, but is not responsible for the current demarcation," the statement said.

But a government statement on September15 said high-ranking officials from both the Cambodian People's Party and Funcinpec had participated in the mechanism for border demarcation between Cambodia and Vietnam.

The opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) boycotted the session of the National Assembly in November last year when 97 parliamentarians from the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) and Funcinpec voted unanimously to approve the supplemental border treaty with Vietnam.

The SRP said the supplemental border treaty violates the Constitution and that many technical issues need to be clarified.

Hun Sen said at the time that he would arrest and jail those who criticized his approval of the border treaty.

Radio journalist Mam Sonando and Teachers Union leader Rong Chhun were jailed in October 2005 for accusing Hun Sen of ceding land to Vietnam in the latest border treaty. They were freed in January 2006.

Opposition parliamentarian Son Chhay said on September 19 that the international community should witness the mechanism for border demarcation between Cambodia and Vietnam to guarantee sustainable sovereignty.



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