Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Demarcation causes worry

Demarcation causes worry

Demarcation causes worry

Cambodian villagers could be cut out of their own country and sent to live in Vietnam – without ever leaving their homes, concerned civil society and opposition party spokespeople said yesterday.

Cambodian Watchdog Council representative Rong Chhun said the group feared a recent agreement to post demarcating markers along the Cambodian-Vietnam border, because entire villages would be reclassified as being in Vietnamese territory.

On behalf of the CWC, Rong Chhun issued a letter to Heng Samrin, president of the National Assembly, and 122 other members of parliament yesterday asking them to clarify details about the border demarcation process, which could also result in Vietnamese villages becoming Cambodian, he said.

“The swapping of villages is a national issue and our history must have clarity,” the letter states.

“Please, Samdech [Heng Samrin] and all parliamentarians, invite the Cambodian Royal Government or the chairman of the Cambodian Border Committee [Var Kimhong] to clarify this case . . . to avoid Cambodia losing land because of improper border post planting.”

The letter does not state how many villages or provinces CWC thinks will be affected by the demarcation.

Rong Chhun told the Post the Cambodian Border Committee and the Vietnamese Border Committee had reached an agreement without allowing the issue to be debated in the National Assembly.

Son Chhay, an opposition Sam Rainsy Party lawmarker, told the Post he had sent a similar letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday to answer questions about the issue.

“This information is national-level information that parliamentarians must know,” Son Chhay said.

Cambodia and Vietnam signed an agreement on March 14 for completion of  the remaining 70 per cent of the 1,270-kilometre border by the end of the year, and agreed to split the cost of demarcation.

Var Kimhong could not be reached by the Post for comment yesterday.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan declined to comment about the border demarcation, but said the government would answer questions put to it by the parliament.

MOST VIEWED

  • Report: Cambodia’s internet freedom slipping

    Althought still ranked “Partly Free”, internet freedom in Cambodia is slipping, says a report by Freedom House, a US-based democracy, political freedom and human rights watchdog. But the deputy secretary of the Ministry of Justice said the report “did not reflect the truth”. The report

  • Hun Sen to ‘step down’ if he loses Sam Rainsy bet over Kem Sokha

    Hun Sen has promised to step down as prime minister while opposition figure Sam Rainsy pledges to turn himself in as forfeits if the long-term political rivals lose a “bet” over the future of former opposition leader Kem Sokha, who is on bail awaiting trial

  • UAE prince seeks to invest in Cambodia

    The UAE has expressed interest in Cambodian oil and gas exploration. Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem said this was the result of his discussions with Sheikh Ahmed bin Dalmook bin Juma al-Maktoum, a member of the royal family who visited him on Wednesday.

  • Kem Sokha off the menu as Smith talks judicial independence

    The UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Cambodia, Rhona Smith, on Tuesday, focused on “judicial independence” at a meeting with Ministry of Justice officials. Both Smith and ministry spokesman Chin Malin said the former opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (