The Royal Academy’s head border researcher Sok Touch yesterday dismissed claims that Vietnam had encroached into Cambodia’s Three Stones village along the border in Takeo province after inspecting the site.
Touch visited the area after rumours that Vietnam had claimed two of the three “famous” stones that give the village in Borei Cholsar district its name.
Yesterday, he noted Cambodia’s police checkpoint was only 25 metres from the site while the Vietnamese outpost was about 200 metres away, adding there was no evidence Vietnam had impeded access or was farming there. He labelled the rumours political troublemaking.
“The Vietnamese do not know [that location is meaningful]. But journalists and politicians always prod this topic to make it meaningful,” he said.
However, opposition councillor Thy Ny Thoeun insisted local farmers had been pushed out of the area by Vietnamese.
“If [you] don’t believe, come and see … Our Khmer checkpoint is far from [the border], about 20-30 metres, but the yuon built a [checkpoint] nearly on top of the border of the three stones,” he said, using a term for Vietnamese considered offensive by some.