In The News: Thai-Cambodian Standoff
[B][SIZE="4"]Cambodia wants to discuss temple dispute at next meeting: Thai FM[/SIZE][/B]
[B]BANGKOK, Sept 30 (TNA) - Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat on Tuesday revealed that Cambodia wants to raise a border demarcation dispute over Ta Muen Thom and Ta Kwai temple ruins for discussion with Thailand at the next Foreign Ministers' meeting.[/B]
Interviewed on the telephone after chairing the Informal ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in New York, Mr. Sompong said that he had reported to the Meeting the results of the two rounds of talks between the Cambodian and Thai foreign ministers on resolving the border tension between the two neighbouring countries.
[B]Participants were informed that progress was made in the talks as both countries have agreed to reduce their respective military forces stationed in the disputed areas to 30 each and are working towards a further cut in forces.[/B]
[B]He said Cambodian officials informed the meeting of their desire to raise the border dispute over Ta Muen Thom and Ta Kwai temples for discussion with Thailand.[/B]
It is expected the issue would be brought up for discussion when Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat visits Cambodia on October 13 at the invitation of his Cambodian counterpart Somdej Hun Sen.
[B]"ASEAN members were satisfied when we told them that both countries understood each other and saw a need to adhere to the bilateral talks to solve the border dispute.[/B]
[B]"The United Nations Secretary-General told the ASEAN Meeting that he had been informed of the progress in the Thai-Cambodian talks on the dispute.
"The UN chief also expressed a desire to see both countries attempt to settle the dispute through bilateral talks, not the UN Security Council," he said.[/B]
[B][U]Mr. Sompong said no ASEAN members questioned Thailand's readiness to serve as ASEAN chair.[/U][/B]
The Minister said he decided to join the meeting in New York to assure ASEAN colleagues of Thailand's readiness to organise the ASEAN Summit in December.
He added that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had agreed to visit Thailand on December 18 to attend the ASEAN Summit in Bangkok. (TNA)
[SIZE="4"]PM to visit Cambodia, seeks end to row[/SIZE][/B]
[B]The disputes over Ta Muen Tom and Ta Kwai temples will be high on the agenda of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat when he visits Cambodia on Oct 13. [/B]
[B]Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat said a Cambodian foreign affairs official had told foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) that ''Thailand is occupying these two areas''. [/B]
Cambodia wanted to discuss the issue during the visit to Phnom Penh by the prime minister, he added.
[B]Thailand is confident the two temples are in Phanom Dong Rak district in Surin. Ta Kwai temple is called Ta Krabey by Cambodians. [/B]
[B]Mr Sompong reaffirmed the next Joint Boundary Commission meeting would be held after Parliament gives it the go-ahead. The Foreign Ministry wants Parliament's approval for the meeting to avoid any violation of the constitution. [/B]
Asean foreign ministers were satisfied Thailand and Cambodia would be able to handle the problems through the bilateral talks, he said.
UN Secretary-General Bun Ki Moon agreed it was unnecessary for the two countries to bring the issues to the UN Security Council, Mr Sompong said.
[B]Asean ministers held talks on Monday in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly[/B]
In The News: Thai-Cambodian Standoff
[B][SIZE="4"]Thai, Khmer troops wounded in brief temple battle[/SIZE][/B]
[B]Two Thai troops and a Cambodian soldier were wounded Friday in a short exchange of gunfire at the disputed Preah Vihear temple grounds, spokesmen said. [/B]
[B]A Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman said Cambodian troops had encroached on Thai territory and had been the first to fire, wounding two Thai troops. [/B]
"It happened around 3.45pm in the disputed area and lasted for two to three minutes," spokesman Seni Chittakasem told the media.
[B]In Phnom Penh, Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said a Cambodian soldier was slightly wounded by a Thai grenade in the "military incident" lasting less than a minute. [/B]
Each side said soldiers of the other side had advanced from agreed positions at the temple grounds.
[B]Last week, the Foreign Ministry said the situation at Preah Vihear "has now returned to normalcy" after military commanders reduced the number of troops on each side of an agreed line to below 40.[/B]
[B][SIZE="4"]Thailand claims Cambodia fire on Thai troops first [/SIZE][/B]
[B]Following a Friday afternoon incident in which two Thais and one Khmer soldier were
wounded, Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied that Thai soldiers patrolling near the ancient Preah Vihear temple on the Thai-Cambodian border provoked a gunfight with the Cambodian, but accused the Khmers of intruding into Thai territory. [/B]
[B]The statement, issued Friday night, quoted Tharit Charungvat, director-general of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs Information Department saying that according to Thai military sources the exchange of gunfire which took place at about 3.45 pm erupted when a Thai military unit patrolling the border about one kilometre west of the temple encountered a Cambodian military unit. [/B]
The Thai soldiers said the Khmer troops had encroached about one kilometre into Thai territory.
Negotiations asking the Cambodian troops to withdraw as requested by the Thais failed, said the Thai foreign ministry statement.
[B]"As the Thai military unit was moving out of the area to report to their commander, the Cambodian military unit opened fire at them," according to the Thai ministry statement. "The Thai side was therefore compelled to return fire," the statement noted.
Two Thai and one Cambodian soldiers were wounded, according to the foreign ministry, which said the Khmer soldier's wound was in his hand. [/B]
The situation has now returned to normal and the Thai military had initiated higher-level contact with the Cambodian military, said the statement.
[B]"The Cambodian side agreed to investigate the matter and reaffirmed that the incident would be contained without any further armed confrontation," it added. [/B]
[B]The Cambodians affirmed that they would coordinate more closely with the Thais to prevent any recurrence of similar incidents. [/B]
Tensions between the two neighbours flared up in July after Preah Vihear temple, which belongs to Cambodia,
was awarded world heritage status by the UNESCO, angering Thai nationalists who still claim ownership of the 11th century temple.
The International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that the temple belongs to Cambodia, but the surrounding land remains in dispute. (TNA)
[B]Press Release from Ministry of Foreign Affair
[SIZE="4"]Border Incident between Thai and Cambodian Troops[/SIZE] [/B]
October 3, 2008, 9:59 pm
On 3 October 2008, Mr. Tharit Charungvat, Director-General of the Department of Information and Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Foreign Ministry was informed by the Thai military that at around 15.45 hrs. on 3 October 2008, a Thai military unit patrolling the areas from Kharn Ma Pass to Phu Makhua, located approximately one kilometre west of Phra Viharn, encountered a Cambodian military unit that had encroached about one kilometre into Thai territory. The Thai military unit attempted to negotiate the withdrawal of the Cambodian side but were unsuccessful. As the Thai military unit was moving out of the area to report to their commander, the Cambodian military unit opened fire at them. The Thai side was therefore compelled to return fire. The incident resulted in two injuries on the Thai side, while one Cambodian soldier was wounded in his hand.
The situation has now returned to normalcy. Immediately following the incident, the Thai military initiated high-level contact with the Cambodian military. The Cambodian side agreed to investigate the matter and reaffirmed that the incident would be contained without any further armed confrontation. The Cambodian side also affirmed that it would coordinate more closely with the Thai side to prevent any recurrence of similar incidents.
In The News: Thai-Cambodian Standoff
[QUOTE=planeman;3597281]Isn't there a back-blast when you fire a recoilless rifle? I've never fired one and I'm guessing that chap hasn't either.[/QUOTE]
Maybe this is just for taking photo. p-)
[B][SIZE="4"]War threat [/SIZE]
By Thanida Tansubhapol and Wassana Nanuam[/B]
[B][U]Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered fresh troops to the border with an ultimatum to Thailand: Pull military forces back today or the border will become a "life and death battle zone".[/U][/B]
[B][U]Hun Sen told reporters in Phnom Penh that he had warned Thailand's visiting Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat that without a quick pullout, Thai soldiers could face being fired upon by Cambodian troops in "large-scale armed conflict".
"If they cannot withdraw tonight, they must withdraw tomorrow," said Hun Sen.
"We have tried to be patient, but I told the Thai foreign minister today that the area is a life-and-death battle zone." [/U][/B]
His comments came after talks with Mr Sompong in Phnom Penh.
Mr Sompong also met with his counterpart Hor Namhong in a bid to resolve the dispute over the area near the ancient Preah Vihear temple.
[B]The Cambodian foreign minister said yesterday's talks failed to end in agreement because his Thai opposite number "could not sign anything". [/B]
Hun Sen and Hor Namhong both told reporters that Cambodia could choose to take the border dispute before an international court if it was not resolved soon.
The comments made by the Cambodian prime minister and foreign minister surprised Mr Sompong and Thai officials, who were adamant that the meetings had not been a failure.
[B][U]Mr Sompong said the tone during the meetings between the two countries had been different as the Cambodian leaders agreed that both sides had to be patient in resolving the border spat.
He said no Thai troop withdrawals would be made from the 4.6 sq km overlapping area between Kantharalak district in Si Sa Ket and Preah Vihear province of Cambodia until the dispute over ownership is cleared through negotiations in the Joint Boundary Commission that was set up to demarcate the land border. [/U][/B]
Thailand reiterated its ownership over the area, Mr Sompong said in Bangkok and rushed to report the talks to Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat.
[B]Suranaree Task Force commander Maj-Gen Kanok Netrakavaesana will hold talks with his Cambodian counterpart tomorrow on the border issues and the Thai and Cambodian defence ministers will meet next Tuesday , according to Mr Sompong. [/B]
Cambodian Deputy Defence Minister Gen Neang Phat said more Cambodian troops were heading to the area after up to 500 Thai soldiers had tried to cross the border near an ancient Hindu temple that is claimed by both countries.
[B]"We are building up our troops at the border in response to Thailand, but I cannot reveal the number," he told reporters.
Maj-Gen Srey Deok, who oversees the Cambodian military in the disputed area, said: "Thai troops have already entered the area. They are confronting our troops."
But Maj-Gen Kanok denied that more troops had been sent to the disputed area near the Preah Vihear temple. [/B]
Thailand and Cambodia have 10 soldiers each at the Keo Sikha Kiri Svara pagoda near the Preah Vihear temple and 45 around the compound on joint patrol, according to the agreement between the two countries to ease border tension.
[B]The two countries also have back-up troops near the border. [/B]
The number of soldiers there remained unchanged, Maj-Gen Kanok said.
[U][B]Maj-Gen Kanok slammed Cambodia for distorting information and taking advantage of the political crisis in Thailand to launch an offensive move for its own political benefit. [/B][/U]
[B][U]The Suranaree chief, his patience wearing thin, called for a quick solution to the border spat and a clear direction to be provided by the government as it could become an armed conflict if it was left unsettled.
"I want the government to solve this problem and make it clear what to do. If it is left this way, nobody knows what is going to happen," he said. [/U][/B]
Tensions between Thailand and Cambodia first flared in July after the Preah Vihear temple was awarded World Heritage status by the World Heritage Committee.
The International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that the temple belongs to Cambodia, but the surrounding land remains in dispute.
ensions escalated into a military confrontation in which up to 1,000 Cambodian and Thai troops faced off for six weeks.
The two countries have swapped accusations of violating each other's territory in the dispute.
(with Agency reports)
[B][SIZE="4"]Anupong, PM call urgent meetings on border row [/SIZE][/B]
Emergency Meeting!!! /posttoday.com[/quote]
[B][U](BangkokPost.com) - The Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army, Gen Anupong Paochinda, on Tuesday morning held an urgent meeting with relevant army officials to discuss the deepening border row between Thailand and Cambodia. The meeting was held at the Royal Thai Army Headquarters. [/U][/B]
[B][U]Prime Minister and Defence Minister Somchai Wongsawat, meanwhile, called another urgent meeting with armed force commanders and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assess the situation after Cambodia told Thailand to withdraw troops from the disputed border area before noon Tuesday. [/U][/B]
On Monday, the Cambodian authority said a "large-scale" armed conflict may happen, if the Thai troops fail to be withdrawn from the border area near the ancient temple of Preah Vihear immediately.
[B]In the meantime at Khao Phra Wihan (Preah Vihear) National Park, many Cambodian soldiers with full arms were dispatched near the temple and most of them were former troops of Khmer Rouge who were very familiar with the border surroundings and environment. [/B]
[B]Thai armed forces consequently had tightened security around the national park. [/B]
[B][U]However, the Commander of the Second Army Region, Lt-Gen Wiboonsak Neeparn, on Tuesday morning claimed that the situation at Preah Vihear had returned to normal, as troops from both sides engaged in more talks and shared a better understanding. [/U][/B]
[B]The Thai soldiers will do their best to protect the country’s sovereignty, Lt-Gen Wiboonsak added.[/B]
[B][SIZE="4"]Somchai says Thailand cannot pull out troops now[/SIZE][/B]
[B][U]Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat said Tuesday that Thailand could not pull out troops from the disputed border area near Preah Vihear temple as demanded by Cambodian Prime Minister Hunsen now.[/U][/B]
[B]Somchai said the joint committee of the two countries needed to reach an agreement on how to carry out the pullout first before it could be done.[/B]
Hunsen threatened to go for a full war if Thailand did not pull out the troops from the disputed border by noon Tuesday.
[B][U]Somchai said the armed forces' commanders were discussing the issue and he would summon all agencies concerned to consult on the matter at 2 pm.[/U][/B]
[B]THAI-KHMER BORDER TENSION
[SIZE="4"]Thailand will act in self - defence : Cambodia told[/SIZE][/B]
By The Nation
[B]If Cambodia resorts to use of force, Thailand will have to exercise its right of self-defence as provided under the Charter of the United Nations : Thai FM[/B]
Tensions along Thai and Cambodian border have flared up again on Tuesday after Thailand refused to follow Cambodia's threat to withdraw its troops from an area near Preah Vihear Temple.
[U][B]Thai Foreign Ministry's statement said, ""If Cambodia does resort to the use of force in accordance with its so-called ultimatum, Thailand will have to exercise its right of self-defence as provided under the Charter of the United Nations."[/B][/U]
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen issued the ultimatum on Monday, saying Bangkok could face large-scale conflict if Thailand failed to abide by his threat.
He issued the threat after Thai Foreign Minister Sompong Wongsawat met with his Cambodian counterpart Hor Nam Hong in a border meeting in Phnom Penh on Monday. "The Veal Intry area is the dead or alive point for us "The situation at the Veal Intry area is too hot. They have to remove tonight or tomorrow. If they don't remove from the Veal Intry area, war will be waged," he said.
[B][U]Meanwhile Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat on Tuesday chaired an urgent meeting to discuss about the matters Cambodia's threat to start war if Thailand did not evacuate its troops from an area near the Preah Vihear Temple.
Somchai reiterated that it is not possible for the Thai troops to withdraw from the area. "It is like you are asked to retreat from your own house," he said.[/U][/B]
[B][U]Thai premier quoted Sompong as saying that he was surprised that Hun Sen made such a threat after the meeting. "During the meeting, Prime Minister Hun Sen seemed to have no problems on the matters. It was surprising that he came out of the meeting room to say that," Sompong said.[/U][/B]
Sompong told the meeting in Phnom Penh that Thailand will not have any problem to withdraw if Cambodia did the same to avoid any confrontation.
Asked whether he will telephone Hun Sen about the issue, Somchai said he will look into details and surrounding circumstances before deciding the next step.
[B]Press Release from Ministry of Foreign Affair
[SIZE="4"]Thailand’s Reaction to Remarks by Cambodian Prime Minister[/SIZE][/B]
October 14, 2008
[B]In response to questions from the media, Mr. Tharit Charungvat, Director-General of the Department of Information and Foreign Ministry Spokesman, [U]said that Thailand is surprised by the remarks by the Prime Minister of Cambodia issuing an ultimatum to Thailand to move its military personnel out of the area adjacent to the Temple of Phra Viharn and threatening the use of force, which runs counter to the spirit of neighbourliness and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), especially between fellow ASEAN member countries. This is also contradictory to international norms of settling bilateral issues through peaceful means as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.[/U] [/B]
[B][U] Thailand has always tried to resolve its boundary issues with Cambodia peacefully through bilateral negotiations which have achieved satisfactory progress thus far. In this connection, the military of both sides have agreed to convene a special meeting of the Regional Border Committee (RBC) on 21 October 2008, which will be preceded by a meeting at the working level of the RBC on 15 October 2008.[/U][/B]
In the meantime, in accordance with its obligations under the Ottawa Mine Ban Convention, Thailand has had to undertake de-mining efforts in the area adjacent to the Temple of Phra Viharn – an area which will be surveyed and demarcated by the Thai-Cambodian Joint Commission on Demarcation for Land Boundary (JBC), set up under the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries in the year 2000. De-mining there is a necessary and urgent issue so as to ensure the safety of people and military personnel who pass through the area. The urgency of this issue was again underscored when two Thai para-military rangers lost their legs after stepping on landmines in the area on 6 October 2008 in the Thai territory in accordance with Siam-France Treaty of 1904. We are now also conducting investigations to verify whether the landmines in the area are old mines or recently deployed in violation of the Ottawa Mine Ban Convention.
[B][U] If Cambodia does resort to the use of force in accordance with its so-called ultimatum, Thailand will have to exercise its right of self-defence as provided for under the Charter of the United Nations, in order to protect our de-mining personnel and Thailand’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.[/U][/B]
Thailand has always called for and remains committed to resolving its boundary issues with Cambodia peacefully through bilateral consultations under the many frameworks already in place. Indeed, as agreed upon by the Foreign Ministers of both Thailand and Cambodia at their meetings in Siem Reap and Cha-am on 28 July 2008 and 19 August 2008, respectively, both countries have committed themselves to exercise utmost restraint to avoid the possibility of armed confrontation. This was reiterated by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat to the Cambodian side during his visit there on 13 October 2008. Thailand has strictly observed our said commitments and expects Cambodia to do the same.
In The News: Thai-Cambodian Standoff
[QUOTE=EStrike101;3617561]^^^Holy crap, whats with the sudden treat? lets all hope there is no war......[/QUOTE]
Honestly, I don't know. Just after the Thai-Cambodian yesterday Thai delegates said the meeting went very well and very optimistic about this issue but PM Hun Sen said he set deadline for Thai troops to be withdrew and he will launch the war if Thailand fail to comply.
Everyone here feels very shock by this Cambodian move. :-(
[B][SIZE="4"]Thailand surprised by Cambodia border threat[/SIZE][/B]
[B]Thai officials on Tuesday expressed surprise at Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen's ultimatum to remove troops from the border region or face the "use of force," by Cambodian forces. [/B]
"If Cambodia does resort to the use of force in accordance with its so-called ultimatum, Thailand will have to exercise its right of self-defence as provided under the Charter of the United Nations," said the Thai Foreign Ministry in a statement issued to the press.
[B][U]Thailand's foreign ministry expressed "surprise" at Hun Sen's fighting words, noting that it went against the "sprit of neighbourliness" between fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. [/U][/B]
Cambodia has been pressing to have the border spat settled by a regional or international body, but Thailand has insisted it could be handled bilaterally.
[B]The Thai Foreign Ministry acknowledged that Thai troops had undertaken a "de-mining effort" in the disputed area around Preah Vihear temple. [/B]
[B]"We are also conducting investigations to verify whether the landmines in the area are old mines or recently deployed in the violation of the Ottawa Mine Ban Convention," said the ministry in a statement. (dpa)[/B]
Trat province where RTN ship has despatched.[/quote]
[B][SIZE="4"]Conflict looms as troops deploy[/SIZE]
Cambodia accused of planting new mines[/B]
WASSANA NANUAM and ANUCHA CHAROENPO
[B]Thailand yesterday shrugged off Phnom Penh's ultimatum for its soldiers to leave disputed areas near the Preah Vihear temple and accused Cambodia of laying new landmines on the border.
The decision to maintain troop levels in readiness for a confrontation to defend the country was reached in talks between supreme commander Gen Songkitti Jakkabat, army chief Gen Anupong Paojinda, navy commander Adm Kamthon Phumhiran and air force chief ACM Itha**** Supawong. [/B]
They met after Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen issued an ultimatum on Monday for Thailand to withdraw its troops by yesterday or risk a "large-scale armed conflict".
Prior to the meeting, the military leaders also held talks with Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat and Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat, both stressing the importance of using dialogue to solve the problem.
[B][U]Security sources said Gen Anupong approved two military operation plans, Chakkri Phuwadol and 512, under which troops from the 6th Infantry Division would be used as the main force. [/U][/B]
[B][U]The navy has despatched its ships to patrol Thai waters off Trat province while the air force has put jet fighters and C-130 aircraft on stand-by. [/U][/B]
"The military leaders insist the armed forces are prepared in terms of troop deployment in the areas, back-up forces and weapons capabilities to protect our sovereignty," army spokesman Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd said.
[B][U]Second Army commander Lt-Gen Wibulsak Neepal has been assigned to take charge of the border situation and cooperate with Suranaree Task Force chief Maj-Gen Kanok Netrakhavesana.
Col Sansern said the military was ready to evacuate Thai nationals in Cambodia, but any such decision would be made by the government. [/U][/B]
The Foreign Ministry yesterday urged Thai travellers to Cambodia to closely monitor the situation and advised Thai nationals already there to contact the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh for advisory and situation updates.
[B]Ministry spokesman Tharit Charungvat also sent a stern warning to Cambodia, saying: "If Cambodia does resort to the use of force in accordance with its so-called ultimatum, Thailand will exercise its right of self-defence to protect our de-mining personnel and Thailand's sovereignty and territorial integrity." [/B]
The spat is over a 4.6 sq km disputed area between Kantharalak district in Si Sa Ket and the Preah Vihear temple.
[B]The latest border incident occurred on Oct 6 when two Thai paramilitary rangers stepped on landmines while patrolling at Phu Ma Khua, about 2.5km west of the ancient Hindu temple. [/B]
Phu Ma Khua, which is in the overlapping area, was the spot where Thai soldiers on patrol clashed with Cambodian troops on Oct 3.
The ministry said Thai de-mining personnel had found Russian-made PMN2 landmines in the area, which the Thai armed forces have never used or possessed.
"The royal Thai government believes that the landmines were planted after the incident [on Oct 3]," the ministry said in a statement. "Thailand views this development with great alarm."
[B][SIZE="4"]Thai army ready to defend sovereignty [/SIZE][/B]
[B]Thai troops will remain at the Thai-Cambodian border area, and they are fully ready to protect the country’s sovereignty, Thai army spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
According to the Royal Thai Army’s statement, it will not withdraw its troops from the disputed border because the territory belongs to Thailand. [/B]
Earlier Tuesday, Brig-Gen Yim Pin, the Cambodian army chief, claimed that all Thai soldiers had retreated approximately a kilometre from the disputed border area.
[B][U]“The three armed forces of Thailand together with their reinforcements are prepared for the potential armed confrontations in the border area to defend the country’s sovereignty. The Supreme Commander Songkitti Jakkabatra will report the army’s information to Prime Minister and Defence Minister Somchai Wongsawat,” Col Sansern said. [/U][/B]
He said the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs will determine on the return of Thai people living in Cambodia.
The Thai armed forces have already coordinated with each other to bring back Thai people from Cambodia, once the army received the government’s order, Col Sansern said.
[B][U]The army spokesman still believed that negotiations between both countries should be a better alternative to settle the border row. [/U][/B]
[B][U]Thailand will not launch an offensive first, but if Cambodia encroaches into Thailand’s territory, the Thai army is ready to confront any incident to protect the country’s sovereignty, Col Sansern concluded.[/U][/B]
[B][SIZE="4"]PM: Thailand won't ignite border clash [/SIZE][/B]
[B](BangkokPost.com) - Thailand will definitely not start using force against Cambodian troops and the Thai army will protect the country’s border without encroaching on Cambodia’s territory, Prime Minister and Defence Minister Somchai Wongsawat said after meeting the Thai army commanders for almost two hours on Tuesday afternoon.
The premier said Thailand will continue to use peaceful means to settle the border demarcation with Cambodia, and the Joint Border Committee will meet to work out the ongoing dispute on October 21. [/B]
At the same time, the Commander of Suranaree Task Force, Maj-Gen Kanok Netrakavaesana, has been assigned by the Royal Thai Army to reinforce Thai soldiers stationed at the Thai-Cambodian border in preparation for potential armed clashes, since a group of Cambodian troops have approached nearer to the Thai territory.
According to Si Sa Ket governor Seni Jitkasem, Thai border security volunteers were dispatched to provincial villages to aid the villagers, should violent confrontations occur.
[B]Local people in Si Sa Ket are still living normally without being alarmed about the situation, the governor said.
More police and army officials were also deployed to the border provinces of Chanthaburi and Trat to oversee security around the areas around the clock.[/B]
[B][SIZE="4"]Govt: Foreign diplomats understood border row [/SIZE][/B]
[B](BangkokPost.com) - The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs said foreign diplomats understood the border situation between Thailand and Cambodia. [/B]
Department of Information director-general and Foreign Ministry spokesman Tharit Charungvat said Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Veerasak Futrakul had spent about 45 minutes to clarify the Thai-Cambodian border dispute to eight ASEAN ambassadors to Thailand on Wednesday.
[B][U]According to Mr Tharit, the permanent secretary explained the incident when two Thai soldiers were amputated after stepping on a landmine in the Thai territory near Preah Vihear temple on October 3.
After inspection, the landmine was found to be a Russian-made PMN2 landmine. The Thai government claimed that the country never used this type of landmine before and it was recently planted. [/U][/B]
Mr Tharit said the foreign ambassadors expressed their understanding on the tense conflict between Thailand and Cambodia and they thanked the ministry for promptly clarifying the situation.
[B]The delegates from Singapore and Indonesia expressed special concern over the border row, and they would like Thailand and Cambodia to be considerate in solving the problem.[/B]
In The News: Thai-Cambodian Standoff
[B][SIZE="4"]Cambodia claims new border clash with Thailand[/SIZE][/B]
[B](BangkokPost.com) - Cambodian officials were quoted by news wire services that Thai and Cambodian troops exchanged gunfire along a disputed border for about 10 minutes on Wednesday afternoon. [/B]
The firefight took place at Kantalak district, Si Sa Ket province.
[B][U]"Cambodian and Thai troops are opening fire at each other now," Cambodian Brig Gen Bun Thean told AFP from the scene. [/U][/B]
[B][U]******* photographer Chor Sokunthea at the scene was also quoted that he heard gun fire. "One rocket flew from Thailand over my head and landed. Now you can hear the fighting. They've opened fire," he was quoted as saying. [/U][/B]
[B][U]Preab Tan, governor of Cambodia's northern Preah Vihear province, also confirmed the fighting. "I can confirm there was fighting between Cambodians and Thais. The Thais fired at us first," Preab Tan told *******.[/U][/B]
[B][SIZE="4"]Govt to protest to Cambodia over battle[/SIZE][/B]
[B][U](BangkokPost.com) - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will invite Cambodian charge d’affaires to Thailand Ouk Sophoin to receive an official protest, following the armed confrontation between troops from the two countries, Information Department director-general and Foreign Ministry spokesman Tharit Charungvat said on Wednesday afternoon. [/U][/B]
Mr Tharit asserted Thai soldiers did not start the shooting, but the gunfight was acted in self-defence, as stated in Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations (UN).
[U][B]As for the evacuation plan for the Thais living in Cambodia, he said his ministry already coordinated with Thai Airways (THAI) to bring them home. Three THAI flights were available to the neighbouring country. [/B][/U]
[B][U]Approximately 1,000 Thai people lived in Phanom Penh and about 400 to 500 Thais were in Siem Reap. [/U][/B]
Meanwhile, both sides accused one another for inciting the brief gunfight on Wednesday. Four Thai soldiers were wounded and one Cambodian soldier was killed in the gunfight, according to army spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd.
Another news from Phnom Penh Post
[B]Fighting erupts on border[/B]
Written by Post Staff
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
Cambodian and Thai troops open fire on each other with small arms and artillery as tensions in disputed territory near Preah Vihear temple boil over
Heavy fighting erupted Wednesday between Cambodian and Thai troops near Preah Vihear temple, a Cambodian military commander said as a standoff over disputed border territory that has simmered since July turned violent.
[B]"The shooting is very heavy now - this is very serious," said General Chea Saran, deputy commander of infantry operating on the frontier between the two countries. "I am meeting with my commanders before making orders."[/B]
An unnamed military officer at the Ministry of Defence also confirmed that the two sides were engaged in battle at Veal Antri, saying that a Thai helicopter had fired on the Cambodian lines, with the Cambodians responding with anti-aircraft weapons.
Tensions have been building on the frontier since Thai troops reportedly crossed the border into Cambodia in July. Several rounds of crisis talks, the most recent occurring on Monday between Thai Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat and his Cambodian counterpart, Hor Namhong, and Prime Minister Hun Sen, have failed to find a solution.
Soldiers from both sides engaged in a brief firefight at Veal Antri on October 3, wounding three troops. Two Thai soldiers were badly wounded when they stepped on land mines two days later while patrolling near the Cambodian front lines.
[B]Following Monday's negotiations, Hun Sen threatened to turn the border into a "battle zone" if Thai troops did not leave Cambodia. Cambodian commanders said Tuesday that Thailand withdrew its soldiers - a claim that was disputed by Bangkok.[/B]
[B]Loun An, deputy governor of Oddar Meanchey province, said Cambodian and Thai troops have shelled each other, and some 40 Thai troops have been surrounded by Cambodian soldiers.
Ten Thai troops near Preah Vihear temple have also surrendered, according to wire service reports. [/B]