By Pancha Seila
Senior Political Analyst
Cambodian Peace Foundation
The “dispute” was created by Thailand’s vicious and orchestrated military invasion and occupation of the Keo Sikha Kiri Svara (or Preah Vihear) pagodaand its vicinity on July 15, 2008.
The border between the two countries had been delimited by the works of the mixed franco-siamese commission on the delimitation of the boundary line under the 1904 Convention and 1908 Treaty between France, the protectorate power acting for Cambodian interests, and Siam. “In general, when two countries establish a frontier between them, one of the primary objects is to achieve stability and finality. This is impossible if the line so established can, at any moment, and on the basis of a continuously available process, be called in question, and its rectification claimed, whenever any inaccuracy by reference to a clause in the parent treaty is discovered.” (ICJ’s Reports of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders – Judgment of 15 June 1962)
Thailand cannot just draw its inspiration from the Nazis and fascists playbook, behaving the same manner as the Nazis and the Fascists had been doing during World War II, drew a UNILATERAL MAP including the Cambodian territory in the area of the Temple of Preah Vihear into Thai territory, and claimed that there is a “disputed area” between Cambodia and Thailand. Drawing a UNILATERAL MAP over an existing international map is the worst travesty and crime against humanity in international relations between two sovereign neighbours. With all the movements of Thai troops and formidable war equipments in the direction of the border with Cambodia in support of Thailand’s vicious and orchestrated military invasion and occupation of Keo Sikha Kiri Svara (or Preah Vihea) pagoda, the intention of Thailand is clear: Thailand relies on its military forces to intimidate Cambodia, to create a de-facto presence of Thailand with the invasion and occupation by Thai armed forces, and claim over the Cambodian territory in the area of Preah Vihear, which Thailand had invented the so-called “disputed area” in the first place as its first step of aggression against Cambodia.
Cambodia does not have dispute with Thailand. Cambodia has complaint against Thailand’s invasion and occupation of her territory by Thai troops. Cambodia has complaint against the Thai militarists, new Nazis and Fascists. Despite all known tricks and deceptions Thais would mount during the process of bilateral negotiations Cambodians would negotiate “patiently, calmly” in good faith with Thais to avoid war.
H.E. Futrakul Virasakdi, in a Press Release posted on Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs webpage 14, October 2008 implied that Cambodia must respect Thai Constitution and Thai “constitutional democratic processes” when it comes to International Relations and negotiations between Cambodia and Thailand, which explains how the Administrative Court in Bangkok has the power to annul the 18 June Joint Communique between Cambodia and Thailand.
Thailand government negotiators or Thailand military negotiators, up until now presented only lip services when they talk with their Cambodian counterparts at the negotiation table because Thai negotiators have to get back to Bangkok and ask for the approval of Thai parliament on any agreement reached at the negotiation table. Thai parliament may or may not endorse it.
This is a known Thai “constitutional democratic processes” trick to show off their arrogance with respect to the Cambodians. They meant to say to the Thai people that the Cambodians want negotiations, we don’t, and we have the upper hand because we can say "agreed" or "not agreed" later, while Cambodian negotiators have agreed already.
How much longer Thailand would be able to deceive the world and the international community with its “burgeoning democracy” under which the internal squabbles of amazing dimension and proportion which last over six months to now with no end in sight would look like a veil to mask the realities of Thai territorial ambition over Cambodian lands along the Cambodian-Thai border, the realities of Thai military incursions and occupation of Cambodian territory, the realities of Thai flexing its military muscle against Cambodia many times having less military capabilities than Thailand.
Up until now the international community seemed to fixate on the idea that Cambodia and Thailand are neighbours, which they are, that Cambodia and Thailand are brothers, which they are not. Had they were brothers, Thailand who is the big and strong brother would not have beaten up Cambodia who is the weaker brother. Had Thailand been known to be a bad brother who cannot behave, the international community would have changed its mind and would have stopped insisting that both Cambodia and Thailand must go on with bilateral talks, and would try to help Cambodia with different venues to check Thais’ territorial ambition over Cambodian territory and Cambodian historic monuments.