About 500 students marched on South Vietnam's Embassy in Phnom Penh, the Amer capital, on Friday (13th September)only to be turned back by thousands of armed riot police.
About 500 students marched on South Vietnam's Embassy in Phnom Penh, the Amer capital, on Friday (13th September)only to be turned back by thousands of armed riot police. The demonstration was the latest public display of Khmer ill-felling toward their South Vietnamese neighbours.
The current public anger is directed at an oil drilling dispute between the two countries. The Khmer Government had given a French company drilling rights for the Peulo Wei Island in the Gulf of Siam ... an island claimed by South Vietnam.
The South Vietnamese Government demanded that the rig be dismantled. ???nd this demand was complied with on Saturday (14th September), thus averting a direct confrontation between the Khmer and South Vietnam, who had threatened ??? p???ll down the rig itself. However, the Khmer Government did send a force of 300 combat troops to Poulo Wei, to bolster the small garrison of 10 men, which has been stationed there for several years.
Friday's demonstration was not violent. However, Khmer authorities were not taking any chances. Riot police sealed off the South Vietnamese Embassy and the ambassador's residence, but the demonstrators dispersed quietly after their leaders spoke with security forces.
Nonetheless, there is still ill-feeling between the Khmers and the 10,000 South Vietnamese living in Phnom Penh, and Government officials are concerned that this could lead to bloodshed as it did in 1970.