Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sufficient Modern Weapons to Protect Cambodia

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Four-Star General Chea Dara, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) and also Chief of the 4th Frontline Direction United Commandment in Charge of Preah Vihear Border, said that Cambodia has enough capacity and modern weapons and ammunitions for fighting and defending its sovereignty, integrated territory and borders.

General Chea Dara continued to say that since Cambodia has had conflict on the Thai border conflict the fighting occurred in 2008 and 2009 in Preah Vihear province, under the direct orders and leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen, the RCAF’s troops now have strong minds and willing to defend their borders.

The General made this announcement when he made his first presentation on “Preah Vihear situation and his report on Cambodia-Thai Borders since the beginning of the fighting until today” at the Council of Ministers on March 24th. About 300 high-ranking officials from the Royal Government, the National Assembly, Senate, and various ministries have attended his presentation in Phnom Penh to listen to his reports about the issue of Preah Vihear borders.

“Under the direct orders from Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, RCAF troops now are very brave and committed to defend the sovereignty and the territory of Cambodia,” he said. “We are determined to defend our nation and we will not lose one millimeter of land to any foreign nations,” he told the participants at the Council of Ministers in Phnom Penh.

“Cambodian solders have fired at the Thai troops to protect their borders while they have invaded our borders in the past. There are over 50 Thais that died and some others ran away from the frontlines and their units,” he said.

Dara described that since the Preah Vihear Temple’s listing in 2008, the Thai troops have invaded at Wat Keo Sekhakirisvara, in Sambok Khmum and other areas in Preah Vihear areas. They claimed that these areas are belonged to Thailand.

He said when the fighting occurred in 2008 and 2009 in Preah Vihear borders, the roads and other rehabilitation were very bad in Preah Vihear areas and the RCAF troops are difficult in walking and working in protecting the borders. He added that many new roads and rehabilitations now have been constructed along the borders in Preah Vihear provinces and many soldiers’ families and other new people have also resettled in those areas.

“I have received the direct orders from the Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen that if the Thais enter into Cambodia I must shoot them immediately. So I told the Thais that if you are positioned at any place you have to stay at that place and do not move forward to Cambodian side. If you move to Cambodia’s territory we will be shooting you. Therefore, they are not brave enough to invade our land,” he said.

Dara stated that the success of RCAF troops’ fighting over Thais in Preah Vihear province in 2008 and 2009 were the result of Samdech Techo Hun whom he has given his clear and direct orders, strategic planning and his own monitoring, along with the strong efforts and hard works of the Cambodian troops.

“Through these fighting, I recognize that Samedch Hun Sen is the only Cambodian leader who is very smart and has lots of military strategic fighting and leading skills in his life. Samdech Hun Sen is the King of Solders in Cambodia. I believe that with his clear order and leadership, we can defend and develop our borders and country in the country,” he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, Minister of the Council of Ministers, has appreciated with General Chea Dara’s hard work as well as the RCAF troops.

The Deputy Prime Minister Sok An said one week after the World’s Heritage Committee’s unanimous decision on Preah Vihear Temple, Thai troops crossed the border with Cambodia and moved toward to the Temple.

This incursion was a violation of the 1962 decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which required Thailand to remove its armed forces stationed in Cambodian territory near the Temple, he said, adding that in response, Cambodia exercised its obligation to defend Cambodian territory, an action that can only be understood as a response to the Thai militarization of the area.

H.E. Sok An continued to say that Thailand justified there invasion based on a map of the border contradicting the map used by the ICJ in its famous 1962 decision. Unlike the ICJ map, the Thai map places the border of the two countries at the immediate edge of the Temple structures.

He added that for more than 40 years, Thailand did not openly dispute the ICJ border. However, it dusted off the unilateral map just in time to legitimize expansion into Cambodia. The map was made by the Royal Thai Survey Department during the period of Khmer Rouge influence. It was marked “secret,” apparently to hide their international ambitions. ////

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