News / Asia

Cambodian Protesters, Police Clash at Vietnam Embassy

Protesters gather in front of the Vietnamese embassy during demonstration, Phnom Penh, July 8, 2014.
Protesters gather in front of the Vietnamese embassy during demonstration, Phnom Penh, July 8, 2014.
Heng Reaksmey

About 100 Cambodian students clashed briefly with police Tuesday while protesting remarks made by a Vietnamese embassy official on the issue of Cambodian land lost to Hanoi.

The protesters, from the Cambodian Students and Intellectuals movement, gathered outside the Vietnamese embassy in Phnom Penh Tuesday. No one was seriously injured in the scuffle with police, who tried to end what city officials called an illegal assembly.

The student anger stems from reports in which a Vietnamese embassy spokesman, Tran Van Thong, is quoted as saying the Mekong River Delta had not belonged to Cambodia in the past.

That portion of Vietnam today was once called Lower Cambodia, or Kampuchea Krom, and was partitioned to Vietnam by the French when they withdrew from their colonization of Indochina. It is a nationalistic flashpoint for many Cambodians.

Mao Pises, head of the Cambodian student group, says the Vietnamese spokesman does not know the facts of the area.

“Tran Van Thong must publicly apologize for his misunderstanding on the history of Kampuchea Krom, which is now part of southern Vietnam.”

In a statement, the Vietnamese embassy said its spokesman had in fact said the region “is an integral part of the territory of Vietnam, in compliance with international law.” It said Vietnam condemns any "distortion" of the matter.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Khmer service.

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Comment Sorting
by: youngthing from: nowhere
July 09, 2014 11:24 AM
There are 3 types of human who got lost in the labyrinth. The first one is too weak to live on so he soon falls down. The second one has no hope to get out of it so he accepts to live with it. And the third who always hopes to find the way out.

Let's guess the end!!!

by: Allen from: Los Angeles
July 09, 2014 3:38 AM
The Mekong Delta really did belong to the Cambodian Kingdom. Vietnamese civilization began in the north and gradually went southward, taking over Champa Kingdom in central Vietnam and eventually part of Cambodia when they made their way to present day south Vietnam. Today, you can still see Cambodiand living in south Vietnam. I say this as a Vietnamese American who studied Vietnamese history of an exchange student in Hanoi.

by: Khmer from: US
July 09, 2014 2:41 AM
Go research the relationship between Khmer Rouge and Vietnam communist then comment.

by: khanh from: usa
July 08, 2014 9:38 PM
I am sure the dirty chinese are behind this protest. The chinese were behind the Pol Pot genocide because they want to exterminate the khmer race and replace with the chinese race. Without the Vietnamese help, your race will be outnumbered by the chinese and they just take over your country and sinicize your country. The truth is international body recognized Vietnam, and you cannot claim any part of vietnam without evidence of possession. This is ridiculous.
In Response

by: Hai from: USA
July 10, 2014 11:52 PM
Khanh, u r right on Pol pot and the chinese during the time. Now the chinese backs the protest against Vietnam for its purpose over the East Sea of Vietnam. The protestants are just the puppets supported by such dirty chinese.
Agree with Khmer Angkor that we try not to make things get worse. Anyway, the opposition of Cambodia government are trying to escalate it.
In Response

by: Khmer Angkor from: USA
July 09, 2014 1:16 AM
Keep going Khanh, including your gov't, you will get your wishes in the future.
What I don't understand is, why you and your gov't still using 19th century style. Let face it, we Cambodian do not claim or say anything that doesn't belong to us because it will be backfire in the future. What you and your gov't been saying is exactly mirror to what China said re. South China Sea islands. Why not try to solve the problems, instead of escalating it further?

by: Richard from: USA
July 08, 2014 8:34 PM
Cambodians need to remember who saved you from Pol Pot and his thug. Yes, the Vietnamese People had saved you from genocide. Remember who is your saver and and true and only friend.
In Response

by: Khmer Angkor from: USA
July 09, 2014 8:32 PM
Richard, under the UN Charter, invading any sovereign state without Head of state approval is illegal. So your logic of saving Khmer from genocide is the opposite, face the TRUTH!

"It only took two weeks to reach Phnom Pench, but the famine last more than two years".

This question was asked by a well respected news reporter. Now tell me, did you and your gov't really are savers for Cambodian? You're still using 19th century style. You can brag all you want, the truth is still the truth. The only way to find out the truth is by bringing those responsible to face justice at ICC, but it will not happen under this puppet gov't of Hun Sen.

by: Phnom Penn from: USA
July 08, 2014 7:27 PM
Cambodians could remember the Kampuchea Krom of 300 years ago but can't recall the Khmer Rouge's Killing Fields of barely, 4 decades ago. Tragic country and mindless people!

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