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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thais seek cooperation

Thais seek cooperation

Officials deny troops killed Cambodian boy but seek help in inquiry.

THAILAND has asked for Cambodian assistance in its investigations into the case of a Cambodian boy allegedly burned alive by Thai border troops this month, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, despite denying the involvement of Thai border troops in the affair.

Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that a letter from the Thai Foreign Ministry on Thursday said that Thai authorities have not received enough evidence to substantiate Cambodian claims but that they appeared to welcome Cambodian input in the case.

“They have asked Cambodia for further joint investigations into the case to find more evidence, so that they can apprehend the perpetrators and punish them,” he said, adding that the ministry has asked the Cambodian consul in Srah Keo province and Oddar Meanchey provincial authorities to investigate the case further and gather more evidence.

The Thai government also stated in the letter that the black-clad Thai army unit 2608 had denied being on the scene on the day of the alleged incident, Koy Kuong said.

Evaluating the evidence
On September 11, the burning corpse of 16-year-old Yon Rith was found by villagers after he and his friend Mao Kleung were said to have been shot by Thai soldiers while cutting down trees close to the border with Cambodia.

Other villagers in the group, escaped unharmed from their confrontation with the Thai soldiers. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a diplomatic note to Thailand on September 15 demanding an explanation of the matter.

Thon Nol, governor of Oddar Meanchey province’s Samroang district, said Tuesday that he had already collected photos of Yon Rith’s body after the alleged burning and other documents relating to the case.

“I am prepared to cooperate on this case,” he said.

“We have evidence and believe that the boy was burned by Thai soldiers.”

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