Back and forth exchanges between party leaders over the Vietnam border continued yesterday, despite calls by Prime Minister Hun Sen to end politicking on the sensitive issue.
Echoing statements by senior ministers, the premier told a cabinet meeting that Thursday’s ceremony to check government maps used to demarcate the eastern frontier against colonial-era maps lent by France had resolved doubts about their legitimacy.
Calling further verification “unnecessary”, he demanded the Cambodia National Rescue Party cease exploiting the issue for popularity.
Soon after, CNRP president Sam Rainsy took to Facebook to, once more, voice concern about Vietnamese encroachment.
Posting a map in which southern Vietnam is identified as Kampuchea Krom, a name referring to Cambodia’s historical claim to the region, he wrote the issue was not between “Khmers and Khmers” or even between “the CPP and CNRP” but dated back centuries. “In fact, it is an issue between the Khmers and the yuon,” he posted, using a word some consider insulting to Vietnamese.
“Since [the 17th century], Cambodia’s territory has been continuously shrinking. At those times, the CPP and the CNRP did not exist yet,” he wrote.
“Therefore, in 2015 and onwards, all Khmer patriots must not fall into the division trap laid by those who want to swallow our land, and they must unite to defend their motherland.”