News / Asia

Cambodia Reports Fresh Border Clashes With Thailand

A Cambodian family is seen on an empty road as they flee the area near the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple on the border between Thailand and Cambodia, February 7, 2011.
A Cambodian family is seen on an empty road as they flee the area near the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple on the border between Thailand and Cambodia, February 7, 2011.

Thai and Cambodian troops have clashed for a fourth day as tensions escalate in a dispute surrounding a 900-year-old Hindu temple.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday said United Nations peacekeepers should be sent to the region.

Hang Chayya, director of the Khmer Institute for Democracy in Phnom Penh, says Mr. Hun Sen is looking for outside support.

"He’s tried to stop all this by sending letters to the United Nations Security Council for intervention and get to this [an] immediate halt to the fighting and mediation and negotiation to take place," he said.

The latest fighting erupted early Monday, near the 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple.

The fighting, which began Friday, has killed at least five people on the two sides, with more than a score of soldiers wounded. Residents on both sides have fled their farms and villages. Efforts to broker a ceasefire stalled have stalled.

Both sides blame the other for starting the fighting. It is difficult for outside observers to get to the area to confirm what the governments are reporting.

News media in Phnom Penh quote a Cambodian commander as saying there has been heavy artillery and rocket fire close to the temple. He said several Thai shells had hit targets deep inside Cambodian territory.

Thailand says several buildings, including a school, were hit. The Cambodian government says part of the temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has been damaged.

Thai government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn on Monday denies reports the Thai military crossed into Cambodia. He says the troops have fired only in self defense.

"We are committed to protect our territory and the lives of the Thai people. We have no intention to do otherwise," he said. "We also fired several warning shots directly to those origins of the target that has been of a military nature."

Neighboring countries are appealing to both governments to show restraint. The Association of South East Asian Nations has offered to mediate.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says both countries need to find a solution "through established mechanisms."

Thailand’s Panitan turned aside international offers to mediate.

"We understand the concerns of the international community, our friends and allies. We welcome their suggestion but we stand very much ready to work with Cambodia bilaterally to make sure that these problems are solved peacefully," he said. "We have informed the United Nations and our friends.  We will continue to inform them as we have new information regarding the attack on the Thai territory by Cambodia."

The two countries have long disputed ownership of the temple. In 1962 the World Court ruled that Preah Vihear belonged to Cambodia. A key access point to the complex, however, belongs to Thailand.

In 2008, UNESCO granted it World Heritage designation, prompting protests in Thailand. The U.N. Heritage Committee is to meet in June to decide on a management plan for the temple.

In Thailand, the nationalist People’s Alliance for Democracy has called on the government to withdraw from UNESCO and revoke a 2000 memorandum of understanding with Cambodia over border demarcation disputes.

The PAD demands that Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva resign over its handling of the dispute. He has rejected the calls.

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More