Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM appeals for observers

PM appeals for observers

PM appeals for observers

Prime Minister Hun Sen wants Indonesia to send observers to monitor the border.

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday urged Indonesia to send military observers to monitor a ceasefire along its shared border with Thailand, despite continued silence from Thailand about the agreed terms of reference for the observers.

Hun Sen told a graduating class of students from the Royal University of Law and Economics that Cambodia had created a committee led by Defence Minister Tea Banh to provide security, transportation and logistics for the observers once they arrive in Cambodia.

“I appeal to Indonesia to send observers directly to Cambodia because Indonesian military attachés have already inspected the area, and we have formed a committee to work with them. Even if Thailand rejects observers, please still come to Cambodia,” Hun Sen said while speaking at a graduation ceremony.

At an informal meeting of ASEAN Foreign Ministers on February 22 in Indonesia, which now chairs the 10-member bloc, Cambodia and Thailand agreed to receive observers from Indonesia to monitor a permanent ceasefire after heavy fighting along the border near the Preah Vihear temple complex in early February left at least 10 dead and dozens injured on both sides.

Thailand has yet to respond to the terms of reference offered by Indonesian Foreign Minister and current chair of ASEAN Marty Natalegawa.

Hun Sen’s appeal comes amid reports of eased tensions along the border, with a military commander in the area saying that soldiers from both countries met over the weekend to play sports as part of a strategy to reduce tensions.

“The situation is calm, but it is hard to know what will happen,” said Royal Cambodian Armed Forces General Srey Doek, commander of Military Division 3 near the border. “Both sides have agreed not to encroach on the other to avoid problems.”

Hun Sen said yesterday that dialogue and contact between the two sides was preferable to armed conflict.

“While discussions are difficult, we prefer them to more bloodshed.”

Last week, Hun Sen appealed to Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to confirm his country’s attendance at the convening of the General Border and Joint Border committees scheduled for March 24-25 in Bogor, Indonesia.

“Please, Your Excellency, respond urgently because these are issues for the UN Security Council and ASEAN,” Hun said last week.

Though Thailand has yet to confirm its attendance, Abhisit said early last week that he hoped the meetings in Indonesia would be a starting point for easing tensions along the border between the two countries, according to a report in the Bangkok Post.


  • Serious flooding across country

    The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding. In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition

  • Malaysian MP calls on his government to take stand on Cambodian elections

    A Malaysian parliamentarian raised concerns in his country on Wednesday about Cambodia’s July 29 national elections and urged his government to clarify its position on the subject, the Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) said on Thursday. Wong Chen, a member of the People’s

  • Troop moves ‘won’t worry people’

    Senior officials at the Ministry of Defence and National Police said on Tuesday that riot training provided to the country’s police forces were aimed at preventing unexpected demonstrations and strikes before and after the July 29 national elections. The troop mobilisation, they said, would not