THE Cambodian Watchdog Council says it will visit areas along the Vietnamese border in Prey Veng province on Sunday, to investigate claims from locals that land in the area has been ceded to Vietnam.
In a statement yesterday, CWC head Rong Chhun confirmed earlier reports that he will lead a delegation to visit border posts 130 and 131 in Kamchay Mear district’s Krabao commune.
He said villagers have complained that the planting of the posts, placed recently as part of an ongoing joint border demarcation effort, had resulted in the loss of farmland to Vietnam.
“After receiving the information from people ... the CWC delegation will go down to control and study whether or not posts 130 and 131 have encroached into Cambodia,” the statement read. It added that the CWC would report to the government on its findings.
Rong Chhun said yesterday that the government’s border affairs committee, led by senior minister Var Kimhong, had misrepresented the situation on the eastern frontier.
“If the government really belongs to Khmers, it must defend what belongs to Khmers,” he said.
The CWC visit follows a year-long campaign by the opposition Sam Rainsy Party to expose what it claims are Vietnamese incursions into Svay Rieng and Kampong Cham provinces.
Var Kimhong said Rong Chhun was making the trip for publicity’s sake, but would take on board any input given properly by the CWC.
“He just walks to propagandise, to be known. Let him go anywhere he wants. I don’t care about him,” he said.
“If he says that we are misreporting, write a letter properly to [me], don’t just speak extemporaneously.”