27 February 2008
By Keo Nimol Radio Free Asia
Translated from Khmer by Heng Soy
In a speech given at a religious festival in Koh Thom district, Kandal province, on 27 February, Hun Sen said: “They say that, each day, Vietnam moves (the border) by 1-meter, or 10-meter, or 100-meter, that Thailand moves (the border) by 1-meter, or 10-meter, or 100-meter. I think that based on their propaganda, maybe, by now, all the Cambodian borders have already vanished. I say that these propagandas are sometimes made to degrade our people, to degrade our own race. About the topic of land sales to foreigners, I think that it is pitiful, and it is a topic that degrades our own race.”
Kem Sokha, the HRP president who recently criticized the draft law that would allow foreigners to have the rights to own lands, said in response to Hun Sen comments that: “There are (border) changes based on reports from our people, and these did not come from a single person, there were many places where the borders have changed, indeed these changes are taking place in some areas, such as in Takeo province, people have told us this also, and also in Kampong Cham province, people talk about it, I also received the same information from people living in Ratanakiri province as well.”
Son Chhay, a member of the National Assembly permanent committee and a member of the SRP, said about this issue: “Talking about the moving of borders (into Cambodian territories), in some areas, they are moved in by 5 km, 10 km, 8 km, this is what the (border) experts confirmed based on maps internationally recognized. In the past we saw already that in 1994 we declared “white zones” (no-man’s land) along our borders with neighboring countries, and these white zones led us to lose a portion of our lands along the borders. It is necessary that there must be technical reviews made so that all the Cambodian people are satisfied with (these borders).”
In the past, the Paris-based Cambodia Border’s Committee (CBC) led by Mr. Sean Pengse used to distribute communiqués accusing the violations of Cambodian territories by neighboring countries, and the CBC demanded that the Cambodian authority cancel all the border treaties concluded between 1980 and 1993 also.