hea Dara unfit to be a general of Cambodia?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chea Dara's wild and baseless claim against Cambodia's opposition party is unbecoming of a RCAF general (Photo: AFP)

Border dispute fomented by groups opposing the Khmer and Thai governments (sic!): Chea Dara

24 March 2010

By Tin Zakariya
Radio Free Asia
Translated from Khmer by Socheata

Click here to read the article in Khmer

A high-ranking RCAF officer, who is currently in charge of the Preah Vihear temple area, accused Cambodia’s opposition and Thailand’s opposition of fomenting the border dispute in Preah Vihear temple that is dragging for more than one year now.

This declaration was made by Chea Dara, the commander of the RCAF zone 4, during a presentation given at the Council of Ministers on border defense by the RCAF on 24 March 2010.

4-golden star General Chea Dara, the RCAF deputy commander-in-chief in charge of the Preah Vihear temple area, said that is was the opposition group to the Cambodian government that fomented problems involving the border dispute in Preah Vihear temple and that this situation lasts until now (sic!).

Chea Dara said: “The CPP resolved several problems and it was successful. Right now, the Cambodian opposition to the CPP, in addition to the Thai group that opposes Cambodia, they push for a handing of the sword to the Thai opposition. Because the Cambodian opposition cannot win the election over the CPP, that’s why they dream this up….

Yim Sovann, SRP spokesman, issued an immediate reaction, saying that the SRP does not owe anything to any foreign country, and the SRP does not cooperate with any country to destroy its own country.

Yim Sovann claimed: “We never gave our land to the foreigners, and we never asked for help from any foreign countries, nor do we owe any country. Therefore, we are not getting ourselves involved with any country to destroy Cambodia by giving our land to the foreigner, we never want to do something like that. What we are doing daily is to protect our territories.”

UNESCO decided to list Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage site at the beginning of July 2008, then on 15 July 2008, several hundred of Thai black-clad soldiers invaded a Cambodian pagoda located near Preah Vihear temple and this led to a confrontation between the Cambodian and Thai armies that lasted until now.

Dr. Hang Puthea, executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free Elections in Cambodia (NICFEC), indicated that the army is a neutral institution, i.e. it must not serve any political party.

Hang Puthea said: “The army is a neutral institution for Cambodia, it does not belong to any political party. However, when an official or a [government] employee uses a forum or his position to serve a political party, I think that this could be a problem.”

Yim Sovan also indicated that the opposition MPs never betray the nation, quite to the contrary, the opposition party protects our lands from the border aggression both along the east and west borders. He also asked that high-ranking RCAF officer not be involved in political issues.


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