HERE THEY GO AGAIN
How ridiculous when a “so called historian” does not know
history, and one NATION’s writer lets
his imagination runs wild
Supalak Ganjanakhundee of the NATION wrote on 23 January 2011 about a “so-called Thai historian” named Charnvit Kasetsiri who had nothing interesting and fair to say about the Temple of Preah Vihear and its vicinity, but spoke about “what he is calling a Mixed Cultural and Natural Mekong-Dangrek World Heritage as a model to end the conflict,” in an attempt to renew Thailand’s insinuation into Cambodia’s sovereignty. As the pair do think alike, Charnvit Kasetsiri provides ground works for Supalak Ganjanakhundee to drill on the scheme of Thailand to use forces to take away a piece of property and the land in its vicinity under the sovereignty of Cambodia by suggesting that “Thailand and Cambodia have been at loggerheads over the Hindu temple of Preah Vihear for half a century, and the proposal by Cambodia to list the ruined temple as a World Heritage site in 2008 fuelled conflict between the neighbouring countries.”
“Half a century” ago, in 1962 as the owner of the Temple of Preah Vihear and its vicinity, Cambodia, very well conscious of her relative weakness to push out the Thai occupation since 1954 by forces, went to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and succeeded in having Thailand put its tail down between the legs and vacated the Temple of Preah Vihear and its vicinity. A point of fact must be recalled for the benefit of the Thai so-called historian and non historian of the same breed is that the “Judgments” of the ICJ on June 15, 1962 is entirely based on the provisions found in Articles I and III of the February 13, 1904 Convention between France (protectorate power over Cambodia) and Siam (now, Thailand). Supalak Ganjanakhundee must not make himself looked naïve and ridiculous by suggesting that Cambodia wanted to “be at loggerhead with Thailand” over the Temple of Preah Vihear and its vicinity for the past half century. Common sense tells Supalak Ganjanakhundee and others of the same breed that Cambodia has rights and duties to protect her sovereignty, safeguard her property and land within her boundary recognized internationally and especially by Siam since 1908. This means simply that any attempt by Thailand to encroach any part of the Cambodian territory, be it the Temple of Preah Vihear, its vicinity, or any other place will be met with adequate resistance.
Make believe that he is completely ignorant of the very recent history of the listing of the Temple of Preah Vihear on the World Heritage List does not make Supalak Ganjanakhundee smart and credible at all. It makes him looked ridiculous even more, and there is nothing wrong to call him a liar. He knew, but pretending that he did not know. In fact, the Temple of Preah Vihear had moved beyond and passed over the stage of “proposal by Cambodia” in 2008. Actually, on July 7, 2008 in Quebec, Canada the World Heritage Committee unanimously listed the Cambodian Temple of Preah Vihear on the World Heritage List under Decisions 32 COM 8B.102. Fully speculative and suggestive Supalak Ganjanakhundee and other Thais of the same breed distorted the fact by saying that “the proposal by Cambodia to list the ruined temple as a World Heritage site in 2008 fuelled conflict between the neighbouring countries. The fact of the matter is that Thailand sent troops to invade and occupy the territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia on July 15, 2008 that “fuelled conflict”.
Supalak Ganjanakhundee went too far by stretching his imagination into something beyond logical reasoning even for an ordinary people by saying that “Bangkok said it respected the court's ruling but argued that the temple's vicinity and even the land where the temple sits belongs to Thailand.” This is really a stunning kind of Thai reasoning. To say the least, Thailand did not do itself a favor by uttering these words.
Supalak Ganjanakhundee can keep on dreaming all his life. The fate of the Temple of Preah Vihear will not fall into what Charnvit Kasetsiri professed as “Mixed Cultural and Natural Mekong-Dangrek World Heritage” and so proudly and enthusiastically speculated by Supalak Ganjanakhundee. By saying that “Preah Vihear could be jointly listed as a World Heritage site, as its main building is in Cambodia but the area around it is in Thailand,” Supalak Ganjanakhundee committed two fundamental mistakes. First, he makes believe that he does not know that there is a final and stable international boundary line between Cambodia and Thailand based on the provisions of Articles I and III of February 13, 1904 Convention, and according to this international boundary line, the Temple of Preah Vihear, its vicinity, and the ground on which sits the Temple of Preah Vihear are inside Cambodia and under Cambodia’s sovereignty. Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia has stated many times in many occasions that under his watch, not a square inch of Cambodian territory will be lost, and Cambodia will not encroach even an inch of foreign territory. Second, regardless of what Charnvit Kasetsiri had in mind and what Supalak Ganjanakhundee dreamed to stir up, the Temple of Preah Vihear and other temples situated near the boundary line inside the Cambodian territory will be way, way beyond their reaches.
Senior Analyst and Researcher on
Institute for International Affairs, Cambodia
24 January 2011