BANGKOK, May 12 (TNA) – The armed clash between the Thai and Cambodian military on April 3 occurred on Thai soil, according to Tharit Charungvat, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman.
The clash site is on Thai territory which was illegally occupied by Cambodian civilians, Mr. Tharit asserted. However, the Thai authorities are lenient for the sake of good relations between the two countries and for humanitarian reasons.
The ministry spokesman made the remarks following media reports that Cambodia asked Thailand to pay more than US$2 million (about Bt74 million) in compensation for damage allegedly caused by heavy weapons the Thai Army used during the border clash on April 3 near the ancient Preah Vihear (Phra Viharn) temple.
The Cambodian Foreign Ministry Monday sent a diplomatic note to Thailand, asking for the compensation. It said the gunfire destroyed 264 stands at a market in front of the Preah Vihear temple, affecting 319 Cambodian households.
The Thai foreign ministry will send a letter to Cambodia to reaffirm its stance on the issue, the spokesman said, noting that Thailand had earlier clearly asserted that the area in question belongs to Thailand.
Asked if Thailand would seek compensation from Cambodia for damage on the Thai side, Mr. Tharit said the Ministry’s Department of Treaties and Legal Affairs is looking into how to proceed with the matter.
The disputed area, which surrounds the ancient temple, has long been a source of tension between the two countries.
An international court awarded Preah Vihear temple to Cambodia in 1962, but a 4.6-square km (1.9-square mile) parcel of land surrounding it remains the subject of territorial claims by the two neighbouring countries.
Sunday, 17 May 2009