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Vietnam requests Thailand undertake not to use force against fishermen

Vietnam requests Thailand undertake not to use force against fishermen

Friday, October 09, 2015, 15:19 GMT+7

Vietnam demands that Thailand promptly investigate the deadly shootings of Vietnamese fishermen by a Thai marine police ship last month, strictly punish those involved, and undertake not to use force against local fishers. The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesman, Le Hai Binh, put in the request at a regular press conference in Hanoi on Thursday in reply to reporters’ questions on the shootings that left one fishermen dead and two others injured. Vietnam also asks the Thai government to offer an apology to the victims, compensate for the human and property losses of the Vietnamese fishermen, and promise not to let such violence recur, Binh said. After being kept informed of the incident, the ministry asked the Vietnamese Embassy in Thailand to clarify the issue and sent a diplomatic note to the Thai Embassy in Hanoi to protest the shootings, the spokesman added. The Vietnamese Embassy also held a meeting with the Thai Foreign Ministry to express its objection, Binh said. The Thai prime minister then ordered an urgent investigation into the incident, the spokesperson added. The fatal shootings occurred on September 11, when six local fishing boats were stopped by coast guard officers on board the ship Thai Police 528 while they were fishing off the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang.Ngo Van Sinh, 38, the captain and steersman of one of the fishing boats, was killed, while two others were injured after the Thai officers opened fire on them. One of the two injured men, Nguyen Hung Cuong, 40, was shot in his thighbone. The Vietnam Fisheries Resources Surveillance Department underlined that the site of shootings is in the waters between Vietnam and Malaysia, whereas the Thais maintain that the location lies about 40km from their Narathiwat Province, which means it is well within Thailand’s waters. At a meeting with the Kien Giang authorities on September 24, Tanee Sangrat, deputy general director of the Department of East Asian Affairs said relevant Thai agencies are looking into the case under the Thai government’s direction. Tanee also expressed his hope that such a regretful incident would not be detrimental to the strategic partnership between Thailand and Vietnam. At the meeting, the two sides agreed that the government of each country would ask law enforcement officers not to use, or threaten to use, force against fishermen of the other side in overlapping waters between the two countries.

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