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Cambodia's land swap with Vietnam opposed
Publication Date : 21-06-2012
Opposition parties say they will summon Cambodian Border Commission chairman Var Kimhong to the National Assembly to explain an exchange of land along the border with Vietnam.
"Cambodian villages along the border should not be exchanged," said Ou Chanrith, a Prey Veng lawmaker from the Human Rights Party. "If the land belongs to Cambodia, let it be. It's not suitable as no country ever does that."
Opposition Sam Rainsy Party spokesman Yim Sovan said that the party "strongly opposes" exchanging land with Vietnam.
"Before 1949, Cambodia had another 21 provinces and cities," he said, apparently referring to the former French Indochinese colony of Cochinchina in southern Vietnam. "All villages along the border were Cambodian territory," he claimed.
"The Sam Rainsy Party will send a letter to the head of government asking to explain the agreement to exchange Cambodian land along the border with Vietnam," he said.
Yim Sovan also said that a "delegation" from the opposition party would "examine the border" soon.
Var Kim Hong, a deputy prime minister, recently said the land exchange involved Thlok Trach village and Anlong Chrey, hometown of National Assembly President Heng Samrin. He blamed French colonial maps for Cambodian villages lost to Vietnamese territory.
"Cambodia is not losing land in the exchange with Vietnam. We are keeping villages belonging to Cambodia where people live," he said.