Four Consecutive Days of Exchanged Fire Between Cambodia and Thailand – Throughout the weekend, not less than five people died in clashes and thousands of civilians have fled the area. The dispute has killed two soldiers and a civilian from Cambodia, one Thai soldier and a Thai civilian.
Cambodia says artillery and machine was heard around the 11th-Century Preah Vihear Temple which has already been damaged in the fighting. This is believed to be the worst fighting between the two neighbors for years.
In New York, Ban’s office said the UN chief was “deeply concerned” about the standoff. “The secretary-general appeals to both sides to put in place an effective arrangement for cessation of hostilities and to exercise maximum restraint,” it said.
Governor of Thailand’s eastern border province Si Sa Ket, Somsak Suwansujarit, said: “Almost 15,000 people spent the night at 38 temporary shelters and 23 schools near the border were told to close from Monday to Wednesday.”
However, it is still vague what really ignited the latest violence. Last December, seven Thais including a lawmaker were arrested by Cambodia near the border for illegal entry. Two of them were sentenced to jail terms for spying, which caused outraged among Thais nationalist, who protested for resignation of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen asked the UN Security Council on Sunday to intervene to stop what he said was Thailand’s “repeated acts of aggression” against his country. He added, he would welcome intervention from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to which both countries belong.
On the other hand, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugusban claimed that Thailand does not invade any country they are just protecting their sovereignty.