Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Bullets’ remark a ‘warning’

‘Bullets’ remark a ‘warning’

‘Bullets’ remark a ‘warning’

090930_03
Cambodian soldiers guard the border at Preah Vihear earlier this year. Earlier this week, Hun Sen controversially ordered troops to “use bullets“ against Thais venturing into disputed territory.

PM’s instruction for Cambodian soldiers to ‘use bullets’ against Thai soldiers and civilians was intended to frighten ‘extremists’, foreign affairs official says.

we have stored enough ammunition to shoot them, and we will follow... orders.

PRIME Minister Hun Sen’s order for Cambodian soldiers to “use bullets” against Thai soldiers and civilians who venture into disputed border territory was intended as a warning to “Thai extremists”, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday.

“The Thai extremists must know the consequences that will happen if they insist on entering Cambodia illegally with the intention of occupying any piece of land in Cambodia,” Koy Kuong said when asked about the premier’s comments, made Monday during a speech at the new Ministry of Tourism.

Koy Kuong added, though, that the government was still hoping for a peaceful resolution to the border dispute.

“Right now, we still hold the position on solving the problem with Thailand peacefully, bilaterally and amicably,” he said.

When asked whether he believed Hun Sen’s comments were consistent with the government’s hopes for a peaceful solution, Koy Kuong said
again that the remarks were merely “a warning”.

The Bangkok Post reported Tuesday that Thai Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban would meet with Hun Sen to discuss the border row.

The report did not specify when and where the meeting would take place, and Koy Kuong said he knew nothing about it.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva downplayed the significance of Hun Sen’s comments, telling AFP: “Whenever he gives interviews to the foreign media, he always has this attitude where he wants to make headlines.”

Abhisit also said Hun Sen’s comments were likely an attempt to retaliate against Thai protests held on September 19, during which 5,000 yellow-shirted protesters from the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) gathered in Thailand’s Sisaket province to protest the Thai government’s border policy.

Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) soldiers stationed near the border said Tuesday that they were ready to carry out Hun Sen’s order should Thai soldiers or civilians try to enter disputed territory.

“We will not use dogs, electric bats or shields to prevent them. We have stored enough ammunition to shoot them, and we will follow Prime Minister Hun Sen’s orders,” said Srey Doek, commander of RCAF Division 3. “We will not make him disappointed on this problem.”

He said Thai military officers sent a letter Tuesday asking RCAF officials to stop workers from making repairs to Wat Keo Sekha Kirisvarak pagoda, which is located near the temple, because it was in territory they said was disputed. Srey Doek said he had told the workers to continue with the repairs.

A spokesman at the Thai ministry of foreign affairs in Bangkok declined to comment Tuesday, and officials at the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh could not be reached.

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty