>SRP position on Thai invasion of Cambodia

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19 July 2008

Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) Members of Parliament recognize the invasion of the Thai army near Preah Vihear temple as a violation of Cambodia’s territorial rights and international law. According to the treaties signed in 1904 and 1907 between France and Siam (now Thailand) recognized by the Hague International Court on 15th of June 1962, the recent invasion of Preah Vihear violates this international agreement. SRP Members of Parliament request that the current government immediately file a complaint to United Nations Security Council such that the UN body will immediately uphold Cambodian sovereignty, a stipulation of the Paris Peace Agreements of 1991.

The proposal to designate only the temple of Preah Vihear with a new map and not its surrounding lands to the World Heritage List by the current government as requested by Thailand and a joint communiqué signed by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An and Thai Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama on the 18th of June 2008 is a illegal document, which has not been approved by the Cambodian Parliament, is the main cause of the Thai army invasion on Cambodian territory. SRP Members of Parliament strongly request that Cambodia government repeal this document and demand that the government presents a strong position which refuses to negotiate with the Thai government as long as the Thai army remains on Cambodian territory. In addition, the government must request the withdrawal of the Cambodian ambassador from Thailand in display of our firm disapproval of the invasion.

Defending the country is the duty of the government, thus we must strengthen the armed forces into a national army that is capable and well-equipped with adequate weapons to withstand the invasion of neighboring countries. SRP Members of Parliament request that the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces be strengthened by maintaining decent salaries for soldiers and commanders, and by eliminating current misconduct where soldiers are only promoted to high ranks through means of nepotism and bribery. SRP Members of Parliament urge that the national army be structured in a way where soldiers are promoted because of merit and experience. This will ensure that the Cambodian army will fight bravely and effectively to defend its nation and provide security to the population.

SRP Members of Parliament also request that the indigenous Khmers, who live in former Cambodian provinces currently occupied by Thailand, such as Surin and Sisaket, to demand and to teach the Thai government, politicians and army to respect the Cambodian current territory and to know the facts of history if Thailand wishes to be respected and wanting to insure that the internal violence in her southern provinces will not spread to the northeastern provinces.

SRP Members of Parliament

For additional information, please contact 012 858 857
(Translated from Khmer by Rachel Sam & Audrey Tan)

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