News / Asia

Thailand, Cambodia Foreign Ministers to Face Off at UN

Armored personnel carriers of Cambodian Army drive through a road at Kampong Thom town, about 168 kilometers north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia - neighboring province to Preah Vihear of disputed 11th century Hindu Preah Vihear temple near border between Cambod
Armored personnel carriers of Cambodian Army drive through a road at Kampong Thom town, about 168 kilometers north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia - neighboring province to Preah Vihear of disputed 11th century Hindu Preah Vihear temple near border between Cambod
Daniel Schearf

Thailand and Cambodia's are to make their case before the United Nations in New York over deadly border fighting that erupted a week ago. Cambodia wants U.N. peacekeepers sent to prevent further clashes. But Thailand rejects any U.N. involvement.

Thailand's Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya and Cambodia's Foreign Minister Hor Namhong will address the United Nations Security Council on Monday

Cambodia requested the emergency meeting after the worst fighting with Thailand in years broke out near a disputed border area.

At least eight people were killed when soldiers exchanged artillery and machine-gun fire. Thousands of villagers fled for safety. Both sides say the other fired first.

By Monday, many had returned home but both sides are on full alert for any further clashes.

Cambodia calls the clashes a Thai invasion akin to war and wants the U.N. to send peacekeeping troops to the area.

Phay Siphan, a spokesman for Cambodia's Council of Ministers, says the U.N. presence would help build trust between the two nations.

"What we wish to tell the world that we wish to stop all aggressions,” Phay Siphan said. “We wish to stop all firing against the temple of Preah Vihear. And, we wish to build like a trust between two nations."

Thailand rejects the proposal for U.N. troops.

Thai government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn says the issue must be resolved bilaterally.

"We hope that the international community will persuade Cambodia to return to the negotiating table with us where we already have the memorandum of understanding and we also have the exiting mechanism - the joint border committee that was to have met before the incident took place at the end of the month," Panitan said.

Cambodia pulled out of the border talks after the fighting broke out.

The clashes erupted near disputed territory surrounding a 900-year-old Hindu Khmer temple known as Preah Vihear in Cambodia and Phra Viharn in Thailand.

The International Court of Justice in 1962 ruled the temple is in Cambodia, but a main entrance is on the Thai side and both dispute areas around the temple.

The border dispute flared up in 2008, after the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, granted World Heritage status to the temple.

Thai nationalists, many of whom say the temple belongs to Thailand, protested, and both governments reinforced troops along the border, who occasionally exchanged gunfire.

In this latest incident, Cambodia says the temple sustained heavy damage from Thai shelling, though foreign media reports indicate it was minor.

A U.N. team wants to visit the temple to assess the damage but Thailand has objected and is lobbying to have the World Heritage status removed.

The border tensions come as internal pressure is building on the Thai government.

Thousands of anti-government Red Shirts are holding monthly demonstrations against what they say is unfair treatment of their leaders.

Nationalist Yellow Shirts are also rallying against the government for not being tougher on Cambodia.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs