News / Asia

    Thailand, Cambodia Agree to Indonesian Observers at Border

    Thai women and children walk to a waiting bus to transport them home after sporadic fighting between Thai and Cambodian troops was reported at a refugee camp in Surin province, northeastern Thailand, May 2, 2011
    Thai women and children walk to a waiting bus to transport them home after sporadic fighting between Thai and Cambodian troops was reported at a refugee camp in Surin province, northeastern Thailand, May 2, 2011
    Brian Padden

    Ahead of a regional summit, Indonesia's foreign minister has said Thailand and Cambodia agreed to allow Indonesian monitors to go to the border between the two countries to help prevent further military clashes.

    In his role as the chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa on Friday said there has been a breakthrough in ASEAN's efforts to mediate an end to the Thai-Cambodia border conflict.

    "I can report to all of you that the two sides have agreed to the terms of reference for the observer team, the Indonesian observer team that we have been discussing for several weeks now," said Natalegawa.  "That is a done thing in the sense that the negotiations have been concluded.  Cambodia has formally acceded or formally agreed to the terms of reference.  Thailand has also agreed to it but they are yet to fully conclude the formal exchange of documents."

    The terms of reference include how many Indonesian observers will be dispatched and the specific areas along the border where they will operate.

    Since February, more than 20 people have died in repeated clashes between the two ASEAN members along their disputed border. Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes on both sides of the border.

    The heart of the disagreement is a 900-year-old Hindu Khmer temple known as Preah Vihear in Cambodia and Prah Viharn in Thailand.  The temple sits in Cambodia, but Thailand claims adjacent land that includes a key access route to the complex.  The countries have fought sporadically over the border since 2008.

    Natalegawa met with foreign ministers of the other ASEAN nations Friday. On Saturday, ASEAN national leaders begin a two-day summit in Jakarta.

    The Indonesian foreign minister says talks Friday included the question of Burma's request to take over the chairmanship of ASEAN in 2014.  Human Rights Watch objects to the idea of Burma (also called Myanmar) leading the association, given it says, the country's long record of human rights abuses and its lack of democratic development.

    While the ASEAN heads of states will decide if Burma's bid is accepted, Natalegawa said some concerns were expressed at the ministerial level.

    "The state of readiness of Myanmar to chair ASEAN in 2014, which is quite a critical year for ASEAN, on the eve of its community in 2015, the state of readiness extends beyond practical arrangements readiness but also other dimensions that we need to ascertain ourselves," added Natalegawa.

    Burma passed up its chance to take the rotating chairmanship in 2005, after the United States and European Union threatened to boycott ASEAN events if Burma's government was at the helm.

    Natalegawa says the foreign ministers also addressed the issue of the South China Sea where China and some ASEAN countries have competing claims to small islands and areas believed to be rich in oil. He says ASEAN and China are continuing to work together to develop a declaration of conduct to help resolve disputes.

    You May Like

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    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.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.