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Prince Ranaridh Said That Cambodia's Political Crisis on Border Issues Should End

Prince Norodom Ranariddh, speaker of the National Assembly and leader of the Funcinpec party, said Thursday that the political conflict on border issues should come to an end.

He made this comment at a hotel in Phnom Penh to reporters, saying he got information from the Chinese side. He quotes King Sihamoni's words telling the Chinese side, that in his role as King, he will sign the Supplemental border treaty which Prime Minister Hun Sen signed on October 10 with Vietnam, after the National Assembly ratifies it.

The Chinese side seems to worry about Cambodia's political instability, and the King told them that the Cambodian political crisis has to end. Prince Ranariddh said that Cambodia relies on her National Assembly, and that the Assembly and the government are responsible for the nation.

Former King Sihanouk said recently that the King will go to Beijing on the day the Assembly ratifies the Supplemental border treaty, and Mr. Chea Sim who is acting Head of State can sign it according his own conscience. The border activists and the civil society officials are not sure about the King signing the treaty.

Mr. Son Chhay, opposition Sam Rainsy party legislator says that, if King Sihamoni signs this treaty, there should be enough and definite studies on the treaty because the King has a role in securing national unity, and territorial sovereignty.

He said all parties should participate in the decision making, especially political parties in the National Assembly, and they should go to the border to check, and technical aspects should be in place. The King then will have no problem signing the treaty.

Mr. Kem Sokha, president of Cambodia Center for Human Rights said that all political nuances should be unified, and that all important matters should get the unanimous votes.

Mr. Khieu Kanharith, government spokesman and Minister of Information welcomes King Sihamoni's position on the border treaty.

Prince Norodom Ranaridh said that the time has come for the border issues to end, and that the Cambodia side has not signed the 7th point yet. He said that Vietnam wants Cambodia to sign it, and that if Cambodia did, she will lose about 50 square kilometers.

The controversial Supplemental border treaty resulted in the arrests and imprisonment of Mr. Mam Sonando, owner of Beehive 105 FM radio, and Mr. Rong Chhun, president of Cambodian Independent Teachers Association, and a number of border activists who fled to Thailand.

The international community asked the government to free them and stop bringing charges against other activists