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    Cambodians Hold Anti-Thailand Protest in Phnom Penh


    by NTDTelevision

    A small group of anti-Thailand protesters gathered in Phnom Penh on Thursday urging Thai troops to complete their withdrawal from the disputed Preah Vihear temple on the border of the two countries.

    Dozens of police blocked the planned rally site at the old National Assembly.

    A similar protest last year turned violent and resulted in riot police moving in on the demonstrators with electric batons.

    After police threatened to disperse the group, they moved to the headquarters of the Cambodia Independent Teachers' Union, where protesters held up anti-Thai placards.

    [Kang Soksan, Independent Teachers Association]: (male, Khmer)
    "We want the royal government of Cambodia to show their willingness and clear stand in solving the border dispute between Cambodia and Thailand."

    The ongoing land dispute between Cambodia and Thailand erupted in 2008 when Cambodia bid to list the Preah Vihear ruins as a World Heritage Site.

    Bangkok's backing for the push triggered a political uproar in Thailand and resulted in a military face-off.

    [Rong Chhun, Cambodian Independent Teachers]: (male, Khmer)
    "Firstly, we want Thailand to withdraw troops from the temple site before July 15, 2008. Secondly, we want the royal Thai government to respect the constitution, like the French-Thai treaty from 1904-1907, the verdict of the international court in 1962 and the Paris peace accord in 1991."

    Preah Vihear has been claimed by both sides for decades, but was awarded to Cambodia by the International Court of Justice in 1962.