Friday, January 07, 2011

[Thai] PM: arrest of 7 Thais by Cambodian authorities won't make Thailand lose territory

BANGKOK, Jan 7 (MCOT online news) - Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Friday reaffirmed that the arrest of seven Thai nationals by Cambodian authorities has nothing to do with the possible loss of Thai territory to the neighbouring kingdom, while calling all parties to focus on helping the detainees first.

The Thai premier made remarks after the yellow-shirted People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) movement claimed Thailand may lose some of its territory to Cambodia if it accepts the Cambodian court ruling on the case of seven detainees.

Mr Abhisit stated that the court ruling will affect only the litigants and it's considered an individual issue, on a case by case basis, not as part of the border problems.

"If so, we can arrest a foreigner and then the defendant confesses, it means his country will lose territory?" noted Mr Abhisit. "We must wait and see the court verdict first. The matter will not be prolonged."

The Thai premier advised the critics to let concerned officials do their jobs. "We won't talk about legal aspects which can bring more damage," he said.

Following opposition Puea Thai accusations that the premier conspired with the actions of detained Democrat MP Panich Vikitsreth, Mr Abhisit affirmed he had assigned Mr Panich to respond to the complaints of local residents at the border, but he asserted that the incident occurred unexpectedly.

Mr Panich said as he was arrested by Cambodian soldiers that he was inspecting the dispute land as local residents along the Thai-Cambodian border earlier filed complaints that their paddle fields which have title deeds issued by Thai authorities have now been occupied by Cambodia and the Cambodian troops prohibited them to enter their ownland.

The prime minister also warned the PAD not to mix up the issue of Preah Vihear dispute with the detention of the seven Thais and that the movement should give full and completed information to the public.

"First thing to do now is to help the seven people as they are Thais and they did not intend to trespass into Cambodian territory or spy on information there. The exaggerated charge should not be taken against them," insisted the premier. "Other issues should be discussed later."

The seven, including Democrat MP for Bangkok Panich and Thai Patriots Network leader Veera Somkwamkid, were arrested by Cambodian soldiers as they inspected the border area Dec 29.

The Cambodian court finished the first hearing on Thursday. They were facing two charges -- one of illegal entry into the Cambodian kingdom, with assigned punishment of three to six months of imprisonment and deportation, while the second charge involved trespass into a Cambodian military area without permission, punishable by a three to six months jail term and Bt7,500-15,000 in fines.

Meanwhile, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Suwit Khunkitti asserted Friday that the arrest of the seven Thais is a different matter to the consideration of the Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage site.

Mr Suwit said the two issues have no impact on each other and that for the Preah Vihear dispute, the border demarcation should be clarified first.

"The foreign ministry is coordinating for the meeting with Cambodia's deputy prime minister Sok An. If the meeting is scheduled, we will conclude the dispute together," said Mr Suwit.

The World Court ruled in 1962 that the Preah Vihear temple belonged to Cambodia, although its primary entrance lies in Thailand and the exact boundary through the surrounding grounds remains in dispute, with occasional military skirmishes claiming a number of lives.

On July 7, 2008, UNESCO listed Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage site. Under the terms of the listing, Cambodia is required to submit a management plan to the World Heritage Committee for its approval but its plan was opposed by Thailand in the committee meeting last year in Brazil and was scheduled to be raised in June at its meeting in Bahrain.


Anonymous said...

I wish Pol Pot regime could come back, take care of the country, and kill all Youns and Siems who want to share Khmer lands.

Anonymous said...

That's because you have a foreign shelter, so, if Pol Pot were to come back, you would enjoy seeing the regime kill Khmer from overseas. That's a stupid wish but it's impossible anyway.

Anonymous said...

friends, pol pot and youn are the same.

you do not need to wish, they are there, all over Cambodia.

They are killing us khmer everyday, taking land from us inside-out. Actually, youn do not need to take our land on the border, but this creature is so trickery-any action is a win-win for them, and we have this so called kmer leaders more than willing to help youn to kill their people, culture and destroy the what is khmer.