Thailand rejects Phnom Penh's demand for civilian damages
- From: Chim <ChimS1@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 12 May 2009 04:47:21 -0700 (PDT)
Thailand rejects P.Penh's demand for damages
By: AFP and BangkokPost.com
Published: 12/05/2009 at 11:56 AM The Foreign Ministry issued a
statement on Tuesday rejecting Cambodia's demand for more than US$2
million, or about 74 million baht, in compensation for damage caused
by the clashes between Thai and Cambodian troops on the border last
Phnom Penh has reportedly demanded the compensation to cover losses
incurred by Cambodian market vendors.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Tharit Charungvat said the clashes between
troops from the two countries on April 3 took place on Thai soil.Thai
authorities allowed a group of Cambodian villagers to reside there
even though it was illegal, Mr Tharit said.
The government decided to be lenient, and also took humanity and
bilateral ties between the two countries into consideration, he said.
The spokesman insisted the government would continue to maintain order
in the disputed area while abiding by international laws.
He said the Foreign Ministry will send a letter to Cambodia to
reiterate the government's stance on this issue.
The government had repeatedly told its neighbouring country that the
area where the fighting occurred last month is within the Thai border,
The Department of Treaties and Legal Affairs will look into ways of
seeking compensation from the Cambodian government, he said.
Cambodia demanded Thailand pay $2.1 million in compensation for damage
caused by the fighting on the border last month, according to a
diplomatic note seen on Tuesday.
Seven Thai and Cambodian troops have been killed in recent months
during sporadic outbursts of violence between the neighbouring
countries on disputed land around the 11th-century Preah Vihear
In the latest clashes on April 3, three Thai soldiers were killed and
a Cambodian market next to the temple ruins was burned down when Thai
forces fired rockets over the border.
"The attack with heavy weapons by Thai troops on Cambodian
territory... caused much damage and set a Cambodian market ablaze," a
diplomatic note sent to Thailand on Monday said.
The material losses to 319 families who had lost their livelihoods
when the fire destroyed their market stalls amounted to more than $2.1
million, it said.
"The Royal Government of Cambodia demands that the Royal Thai
government take full responsibility for these damages caused by Thai
soldiers and to appropriately compensate the above losses," it said.
Troops from the two countries have been locked in a border standoff
since last July, when Thailand was angered by the cliff-top temple
being given United Nations World Heritage status.
Ownership of the temple was awarded to Cambodia in 1962 but the two
countries are in dispute over five square kilometres of land around
it that has yet to be officially demarcated.
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