>Cambodia informs UN Security Council of Thai incursion into its territory

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Thai soldiers stand guard at a Cambodian Buddhist temple complex which they have occupied near Preah Vihear temple in Preah Vihear province, Cambodia, Saturday, July 19, 2008. A Cambodian general said a border standoff between his soldiers and Thai troops came close to a shoot-out overnight as the confrontation over disputed territory surrounding the ancient Preah Vihear temple entered.

(AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

PHNOM PENH, July 20 (Xinhua) — Cambodia has complained to the UN Security Council that Thai forces violated its territory near World Heritage Site the Preah Vihear Temple, where hundreds of troops continued to face off Sunday, said a government press release.

Cambodia’s permanent mission in New York has submitted an account of facts, including a letter and maps, for the Security Council in relation to Thai violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cambodia, according to the release.

“On July 15, 2008, about 50 Thai soldiers crossed into the Keo Sikha Kiri Svara Pagoda located in Cambodia’s territory at about 300 meters from the Temple of Preah Vihear. By July 16 to 17, 2008,the number of Thai soldiers in the pagoda ground increased to 480,” said the letter signed by Cambodian Ambassador to UN Sea Kosal for chairman of the Security Council and the chairman of the General Assembly.

Meanwhile, Information Minister Khieu Kanharith told reporters that the letter aimed to draw UN’s attention to the current situation on the Cambodian-Thai border.

Cambodia is not asking for UN intervention, he said, adding that the government still stick to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s instructions to try to solve the problem peacefully between the two sides.

Saturday, under the arrangement of the Cambodian government, representatives from Chinese, U.S., French and Vietnamese embassies flew to Preah Vihear province by helicopter to study the Cambodian-Thai military standoff over their land dispute.

Friday, the government invited a group of domestic and foreign journalists to the region to watch the situation.

Earlier Tuesday, three Thai protesters were arrested for jumping an immigration checkpoint to reach the Preah Vihear Temple. Thai troops then came to fetch them, triggering face off with Cambodian troops there. Military build-up occurred day by day.

The protesters trespassed the border with intention to reclaim the 11-century classic Khmer-style temple, which the International Court of Justice awarded, together with the land it occupies, to Cambodia in 1962. The decision has rankled the Thais ever since.

The temple straddles the Thai-Cambodian border atop the Dangrek Mountain and was listed as a World Heritage Site on July 7 by the UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee.

Editor: Sun Yunlong
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