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PVihear damages estimated


Residents around the market at Preah Vihear temple say they want compensation from Thailand for what they estimate is about US$9 million in damages.

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A vendor picks through the debris of Preah Vihear market, destroyed in in a firefight with Thai soldiers earlier this month.

RESIDENTS near the Preah Vhear temple complex where a  market was destroyed by Thai rocket fire in early April have calculated damages in excess of US$9 million, a representative announced Tuesday.

Some 260 property owners have submitted thumbprints to documents requesting compensation from the Thai government for losses incurred when Thai soldiers opened fire on the market April 3.

"We've calculated the value of properties destroyed by Thai soldiers at $1.2 million", president of the Khmer CiviliSation Foundation, Moeung Sonn, reported Tuesday. "However, we've submitted a claim for $9.2 million to the Thai government to compensate people's properties, businesses and mental health," he explained.

Moeung Soun said many victims of property damage have also suffered serious mental health repercussions. "One of the victims has been out of control since her property was burned down by Thai soldiers' rockets," he said. "She's now seriously ill and is being treated in Battambang hospital. Other victims are also experiencing mental health problems."

Moeung Sonn said the complaint will be sent to the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and copies are to be sent to King Norodom Sihamoni, the King Father Norodom Sihanouk, Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Thai embassy.

He added, however, that compensation will ultimately be determined by the Cambodian government's willingness to confront Thai authorities.

"Our government has evidence of Thai rocket debris and has a duty to serve Cambodians and resolve the problem for them," he said.

Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the Post Tuesday that the ministry had not yet received the complaint and would meet to determine measures after its receipt.

Meanwhile, commune officials are working to independently calculate property damages and address losses.

"Our officials have registered people's property damages, but totals have not yet been calculated", Kao Long, governor of Choam Ksan district, said Tuesday. 



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