Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Officials reject Thai border market claim

Officials reject Thai border market claim

Officials reject Thai border market claim


Government disputes Thai argument that planned market reconstruction violates bilateral agreements.

CAMBODIAN officials have rejected Thai government claims that the reconstruction of a market at the foot of Preah Vihear temple violates a border agreement signed by the two countries, saying the project has nothing to do with the continuing standoff over contested territory.

Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, said that the reconstruction of the market - which Cambodia says was destroyed by Thai rocket fire during border clashes in April - was merely intended to provide housing to 319 vendor families made homeless by the incident.

"Thailand's claims are groundless," he said Monday.

"They are only trying to disturb Cambodia."

On Thursday, Thailand's border communication office wrote to its Cambodian counterpart, claiming that the construction of new stalls at the market violated a memorandum of understanding on border demarcation signed between the two countries in 2000.

"The border communication team of Region 1 would like to inform you that the above action is in violation of the joint MoU on inspection and border demarcation," the letter stated.

Cambodia and Thailand have never fully demarcated their 805-kilometre shared border.

Under construction
Sar Thavy, Preah Vihear deputy governor and a member of the market construction commission, said Monday that several stalls had already been rebuilt, and that the all construction activities were taking place on Cambodian soil.

"We have to rebuild those stalls because [the market] has been on that site for many years," he said.

"If Thailand complains about our reconstruction, it is their problem."

He added that construction workers were hurriedly building stands in an attempt to finish the project as soon as possible.

In May, Cambodia officially requested US$2.1 million in compensation for the damage at the market, but so far there has been no response from Bangkok.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said that Thailand had not yet sent a formal diplomatic note protesting the reconstruction, but added that Foreign Minister Hor Namhong was set to leave for Bangkok today for a meeting of the Joint Border Commission, set up to negotiate border issues.

Var Kimhong, Cambodia's top border negotiator, could not be reached for comment Monday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • 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

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman