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.
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Resigns

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid