'4 sq km land belongs to Cambodia'
Wed, Sep 30, 2009
The Nation/Asia News Network

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday (September 28) said with strong words that Cambodia and Thailand do not have overlapping land of 4.6 square km near 11th century Khmer Preah Vihear temple.

"That area is Cambodian soil," Hun Sen said at a opening ceremony of the new Tourism Ministry building in Phnom Penh downtown.

"Thailand is using their own map which was drawn unilaterally to take land from Cambodia such as 4.6 km square near Preah Vihear Temple," Xinhua quoted Hun Sen as saying.

Hun Sen had said that Thai "yellow T-shirt" protesters rallied at the area near Preah Vihear temple to demand Cambodian troops and villagers move out from the land of 4.6 square km near the temple. "They are extremists and have ambitions," he said.

State-run Xinhua said Hun Sen warned that he has told his military commander that if the Thai "yellow T-shirt" protesters forced their way into the area, Cambodian troops could use force.

He said he has ordered his troops to shoot anyone found illegally crossing a disputed border with Thailand.

His remarks came a little over a week after Thai protesters rallied at the site near the Preah Vihear temple, where seven soldiers were killed when tensions flared last year.

"If they enter again, they will be shot," Hun Sen told officials.

"Troops, police and all armed forces must adhere to the order ... for invaders, shields are not used but bullets are used," the said in the speech at the opening ceremony for Cambodia's new Ministry of Tourism building.

The Prime Minister also rejected the declaration by Thai leaders that the road Cambodia built to Preah Vihear temple is joint sharing for using. "This road was built on Cambodian soil and it did not have joint share with Thai side. I am so sorry for your comment," he said, adding "you have confused the matter of this street."

However, Hun Sen stressed that even though "we will not avoid to use force, our stance is still to deal with the issues with peaceful way, Cambodia does not need war."

Cambodian and Thai troops have confronted each other since July 15, 2008 at the areas near Khmer Preah Vihear temple after Cambodia registered the temple as the World Heritage Site in July 7, 2008.


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