PHNOM PENH Feb 5 Cambodia has hit out at
Google (GOOG.O) over what it called a "radically misleading"
map of the disputed Thai-Cambodia border, accusing the world's
biggest search engine of being "professionally irresponsible".
Cambodia, which is embroiled in a bitter diplomatic row
with Thailand over the demarcation of the frontier, said the
Google Earth map was "devoid of truth and reality" and called
for its immediate removal because it was not internationally
Cambodia made the complaint in a letter issued a day ahead
of the first-ever visit to the border region by its outspoken
prime minister, Hun Sen, a move likely to raise tension between
the historic foes.
"(The map) is devoid of truth and reality, and
professionally irresponsible, if not pretentious," Svay Sitha,
secretary of state of the Cambodia's Council of Ministers,
wrote in the letter seen by Reuters on Friday.
"We therefore request that you withdraw the already
disseminated, very wrong and not internationally recognised map
and replace it," he said.
Both countries have a heavy military presence along the
border, where deadly clashes have occurred in the past three
At the centre of the row is the 11th century Preah Vihear
temple, ownership of which was awarded to Cambodia in a 1962
international court ruling. However, many Thais have never
fully accepted the decision and the temple has been used by
both countries to stoke nationalist fervour.
Thailand last year withdrew its pledge of support for
Cambodia to list Preah Vihear as a UNESCO World Heritage site,
arguing that jurisdiction of land around the temple had never
The move angered Hun Sen, who has since formed a
provocative alliance with exiled Thai premier Thaksin
Shinawatra, giving him a base close to home in his fight to
bring down the Thai government. (For a Q+A on the dispute:
Hun Sen is accused by Bangkok of colluding with the
billionaire, offering him a home and a job as an economic
adviser, to escalate a five-year political crisis in Thailand.
Google is currently locked in a dispute with China and last
month said it was reviewing its business operations there after
a series of sophisticated cyber-attacks.
(Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Editing by Martin Petty)