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TV Stations Increase Broadcasts on Border Documents

All television stations in Cambodia are increasing their broadcast on the border agreement documents between Cambodia and Vietnam from the 19th century to the 21st century aiming to defend Prime Minister Hun Sen's signing of the additional border treaty with Vietnam.

Mr. Hun Sen said Thursday that these broadcasts are not meant to cause anyone any trouble but to educate people about the border issues between Cambodia and Vietnam. He also said he wanted to prove that Cambodia did not lose territory to Vietnam under his leadership.

The TV stations broadcast the documents on the history of border agreements between Cambodia and Vietnam in 1870, 1873, 1949, 1957, 1964, 1977, 1999 and 2005. However the 1979, 1982 and 1985 border agreements that Cambodia signed with Vietnam during Vietnam's occupation were not broadcast. Former King Sihanouk and many border activists have said the three treaties were illegal under the 1991 Paris Peace Accords.

Opposition Sam Rainsy party (SRP) members and NGOs officials say that the broadcasting is a bad idea and that the concerned parties should sit down and talk frankly about the issues. Opposition lawmaker Son Chhay said these documents should be viewed by the National Assembly to try to solve the border issues. He said to use public television to air them is bad for Cambodia because its neighbors will look down on Cambodia as a divided country.