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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Opposition slams Thai gov’t

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha walks past an honour guard in Beijing
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha walks past an honour guard in Beijing last year. Senior lawmakers from the CNRP sent Prayuth a letter condemning the recent killings on the Thai-Cambodia border. AFP

Opposition slams Thai gov’t

More than a dozen opposition party officials have accused Thailand of encouraging extrajudicial killings of Cambodians along the border.

In a strongly worded letter sent to Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on Monday, the Cambodia National Rescue Party MPs asked for an independent investigation into an incident in early January where two Cambodians were allegedly burned alive by Thai soldiers across the border from Battambang province.

“Your government has so far denied the nationality of the bodies although the parents of the two young men have claimed for [sic] the bodies of their sons,” they wrote.

The MPs, which include deputy CNRP leader Kem Sokha and a number of senior lawmakers, also condemned the “savage killing” of 55-year-old Phorn Chem on December 9 after she crossed the border to find food.

The more than 100 Cambodians killed by Thai “state agents” in recent years “are continued acts of utter barbarity against Cambodian nationals”, they said. Another three illegal loggers were fatally shot last week.

The MPs added that they consider “the failure of the [Thai] State to take legal action on those responsible for those [extra-judicial] killings as tantamount to the State’s encouragement of such extra-judicial killing.”

Thai Embassy spokespeople could not be reached for comment. Cambodian Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said Thailand had still not officially confirmed the nationality of the burned bodies and were still investigating.

He said the opposition had the right to pen such letters but emphasised the government always sends strongly worded protest notes to Thailand after Cambodians are shot on the border.

Border officials say they have already been informed that the burnt corpses were Thai.

“[The Thai side] does not recognise the bodies as Khmer,” said Muong Rithya, an official in the research and information unit of the Sampov Loun district military police.

Paul Chambers of the Institute of South East Asian Affairs in Chiang Mai, said the tone of the opposition’s letter would “antagonise” the Prayuth regime.

“If the opposition comes to office in the next election, Thai-Cambodian relations, which have improved since Prayuth’s recent visit [in October], will sink to icy depths,” he said in an email.

CNRP president Sam Rainsy’s signature was not on Monday’s letter, but he said he fully backed the initiative.



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Bob's picture

This chosen phrase "acts of utter barbarity against Cambodian nationals” is very meaningful and I think this is what Thailand view Cambodia in general... They are bashing Cambodia and seeing Cambodian as an uncivilized people. They allow the killing at the cross border to continue and thai government has done very little effort in trying to find justice for the deads!!! Thai gvment is trying to find a way to calm down the media in hoping the store will die out in time and a way to protect their criminal soldiers…. what is that signal to Cambodian people and Cambodia gvmnt? Thank about it the other way around, what if a Cambodian soldier had killed a thai civilian not crucifying but shot to dead a thai citizen... What do you think, thai government would do? Just really unfair to the poor Cambodians
Thailand supposedly is a democratic country but it seemed to be very judgmental when it comes to Cambodian people... Cambodia govmt asked many times the Thailand to stop kill the logger and the cross border and they have promised to do so but they set a blind eyes to let their soldiers amused of killing Cambodian. Where is the justice here!!!! Now with the two crucified bodies under their investigations! Do you really think that Thai gvmt will punish the perpetrator of their own?
You may not know, in Jun 1979, after a float of refugees escaping Pot Pot regime into Thai border, thai govment order the security forces to expel thousands of those surviving refugees loaded them on buses and dumped them on atop of Preas Vihear gunshot dead and forced the rest to herd down into a jungle of landmines, killed by hundreds and some die later from exhaustion, dehydration and starvation…. Never thai officers in charge at that time, no want of them had been bring into court and charge them with crime against humanity… Not to mention about in refugee camps across the border, thai soldiers rape, kill, beat and humiliated by thousands and treat Cambodia as a beast!!!! Shame on you Thailand…

Bravo Cambodia opposition and keep pressure the thai gvmt… It should at least, will slow down the killing a little bit.
Please help fighting the world injustice in the name of the poor unfortunate people like those two burned alive!

Can you hear their cries from the suffering during the long minutes of the burning flame engulfing their internal organ!
God! Those soldiers are animals not a civilized citizen.God must punish them....

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