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Thai Protester Demands ‘Impossible’: Government

  • Chun Sakada
  • VOA Khmer

Yellow-shirted protesters wave national flags during a rally in Bangkok.

Yellow-shirted protesters wave national flags during a rally in Bangkok.

The Cambodian government on Wednesday issued a strong rebuke of the Thai “yellow shirt” protest movement, which has called for the annulment of border agreements and the ejection of Cambodians from land along the border.

Thai supporters of the People’s Alliance for Democracy have been up in arms since the arrest of seven Thais in December, five of whom were found guilty of illegally entering the country on Friday and two of whom still face more serious espionage charges.

Protesters are demanding the Thai government revoke a 2000 agreement on the resolution of border issues and remove Cambodians living on disputed territory, the Bangkok Post reported.

Koy Kuong, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called the demands unacceptable. The 2000 agreement is aimed at benefitting both countries, and it is “impossible” to remove Cambodians from areas where they “are living on their own territory,” he said.

Phay Siphan, a spokesman for the Council of Ministers, said sustained political turmoil in Thailand will make implementation of the border agreement difficult.

“But Cambodia’s obligation to keeping its sovereignty and territory has been fulfilled,” he said.

Thun Saray, president of the rights group Adhoc, said the demands of the “yellow shirts” were aimed at toppling the administration of Thai Premier Abhisit Vejjajiva and that increased tension was a reason for concern.

Abhisit knows the agreement is “an important basis for continuous cooperation and negotiation on the border issue,” he said.