>Beijing border talks?

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Post Reporters

Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat (Pictured) hopes to discuss the border dispute with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Summit (Asem) in Beijing on Friday and Saturday.

Mr Somchai said on Tuesday the time and date had not yet been arranged.

He hoped the talks would return the relationship to normal and ease the tension over the 4.6 sq km disputed area between Kantharalak district in Si Sa Ket and Preah Vihear temple in Cambodia.

Also on Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry protested against the deployment of Cambodian troops in another overlapping area, at the Trimuk Pavilion, which Thailand claims as part of Ubon Ratchathani province.

Director-general of the Treaties and Legal Affairs Department Virachai Plasai summoned Cambodian Charge d’Affairs Ouk Sophoin to receive the protest note.

It said the boundary in the area was still subject to tripartite negotiations between Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. The presence of Cambodian troops was causing unnecessary tension, said Mr Virachai.

The ministry says nine armed Cambodian troops have been deployed at the pavilion since Sept 18. Thailand claims it is in Nam Yuen district. Laos and Cambodia also claim sovereignty.

“The ministry delayed the protest because it wanted to the check facts first,” Mr Virachai said, and called on Cambodia to promptly withdraw its troops.

The cabinet appointed Vasin Teeravejayarn the Thai chairman of the Joint Boundary Commission to demarcate the land border with Cambodia. He was nominated by Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat.

Government spokesman Nattawut Saikua said Mr Vasin is a former ambassador to South Korea and former director-general of the Treaties and Legal Affairs Department. He will take up the post on Nov 10.

Meetings have not been scheduled because the government wants parliament to approve the talks for fear of breaching the charter.

One of the seven Thai soldiers wounded during the fighting on Oct 15 was pronounced dead on Tuesday morning.

Volunteer paramilitary ranger Bunyarit Kantee died at Sappasitprasong hospital in Ubon Ratchathani.

He was hit by shrapnel while guarding the border at Phu Makheu, near Preah Vihear.

His body was taken to Ban Natruan temple in Si Sa Ket’s Phu Sing district for the bathing rite.

Her Majesty the Queen, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and HRH Princess Srirasm provided wreaths for the funeral ceremony. HRH Princess Soamsawali has provided royal bathing water.

A royal funeral rite will be held at the temple on Monday .

Second Army deputy commander Maj-Gen Veevalit Jornsamrit said the army has already given 800,000 baht compensation to the ranger’s family.

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Below are readers’ comments:

by Sovan Chanratana – Oct 22, 2008 09:48
“The ministry says nine armed Cambodian troops have been deployed at the pavilion since Sept 18. Thailand claims it is in Nam Yuen district. Laos and Cambodia also claim sovereignty.”

The 3 countries claim the sovereignty but the point is what map do they base on? Which map is recognised worldwide? All countries should respect the International Laws by working on one worldwide recognised map. Then the problems can be solved. Please live in peace together!

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by vn_angkar@yahoo.com – Oct 22, 2008 08:38
All parties concerned always called for talks to solve the problems peacefully. But unfortunately, I have never heard any one talking about something like: internationally recognized borderline as stated officially in the treaties and MOU, although concrete borderposts are not yet in place properly, must fully and conscious respected. The treaties and MOU has no value if not respected.
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