By Waddhana P
Senior Analyst and Researcher on
Institute for International Affairs, Cambodia
9 February 2011
How can you be concerned, Atiya Achakulwisut? You cannot. Just leave The Temple of Preah Vihear to the Cambodian people and UNESCO or the World Hritage Committee. It is very easy to understand. The Temple of Preah Vihear is not situated in Thailand. It is not the property of Thailand; it is not your property as you are just a Thai. You can never have a feeling over something that is not your legitimate property. Yet, your sarcasm does not prove that you are knowledgeable about the Temple of Preah Vihear, UNESCO or the World Heritage Committee at all.
Atiya Achakulwisut, you have assumed that you are too smart, smarter than everyone in the whole wide world when you said:
1- Between Cambodia and Thailand there is “decades-long territorial feud.” It sounds very intellectual, but full of lies because you allow something very important to slip away from your unsound and unclear mind. This is typical of a mind that is deranged. Had you remembered the 13 February 1904 Franco-Siamese Treaty, the Mixed Commission set up under the Treaty, the delimitation works of the Mixed Commissions, and the Dangrek map among the set of eleven maps produced under this Treaty, you would not have spoken about “decades-long territorial feud,” because between Cambodia and Thailand, there exists a fixed, stable, internationally recognized frontier line delimited by the Mixed Commissions set up under the 1904 Treaty. The “decades-long territorial feud” is the invention and the scheme of Thailand to exercise ownership of Cambodian track of lands in the border area when opportunity strikes;
2- “It's true that Thailand has consistently protested Cambodia's unilateral listing of the temple whose entrance is on the Thai side but the Unesco or World Heritage Committee could not have thought of the gesture as something serious,” as to shows off your arrogance which is common for Thai ultra-nationalists. You are totally confused, or trying to confuse the international public regarding The Temple of Preah Vihear. You had to pick up a copy of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Judgments of 15 June 1962, Case: The Temple of Preah Vihear and read it leisurely. Unless you are completely blind and turns completely dumb you should know that the Temple of Preah Vihear is a Cambodian property and as such the word “unilateral listing” is irrelevant and speculative. If, and there is nothing true about this, “the entrance is on the Thai side” Cambodian will never object Thailand for listing “the entrance” to the World Heritage List. You must have learnt some history before becoming Deputy Editor of the Bangkok Post, and you must have known that when building The Temple of Preah Vihear, Cambodia was an empire and almost all Thailand was Cambodian territory. Actually UNESCO or the World Heritage Committee has done a commendable job in conformity with provisions of the 1972 Convention. On the other hand, the loss of lives for which you are weeping over is caused by Thailand, and by Thailand only. Had Thailand behaved as a civilized nation, by respecting international agreements, and international rule of law, none of those deaths and destruction would have had occurred;
3- “What more what would the world body need to manage?” which is stupid and ignorant as it sounds. Many unpleasant things can be said about you, and the following is the most relevant among all other: You and many other Thai ultra-nationalists behave no difference than outlaws and anarchists who look at established international institutions or organizations, such as ASEAN, UNESCO, the United Nations Security Council, the ICJ, etc… with disdain, but in fear. A case in point: To avoid future recurrence of fighting and the loss of lives, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia has called for the third party (ASEAN, UNSC, ICJ) to mediate or decide once and for all the so-called “decades-long territorial dispute” between Cambodia and Thailand, but Abhisit Vejjajiva rejected a third party involvement. Two things can be said about Thai’s rejection, (i) you and other Thai ultra-nationalists are truly “outlaws and anarchists” and you are afraid to get caught by established international institutions or organizations, and (ii) you and other Thai ultra-nationalists intended to perpetuate the so-called “decades-long territorial dispute,” and use it as a scapegoat to take Cambodia hostage of Thai internal political squabbles. The most direct answer to your question is that Cambodia by her humility and modesty would ask the world body for advise in order to comply with the rules and requirements prescribed by the Convention for the management of a special world heritage.
4- “For the sake of the heritage issue it (UNESCO) specialises in, why not leave the ruin in ruins? Leave the marks of destruction and traces of fighting, if there are any, the way they are so that the international agency can tell the world and the people who will surely throng to visit the place once it can be opened to the outside world what a precious heritage it is, that people from the two adjacent countries had to drag their heavy weapons and fight head over heels on how it would be managed.” Atiya Achakulwisut, your sarcasm expresses your frustration that your Thai troops did not achieve their twin-goal of (i) wiping out the Keo Sikha Kiri Svara pagoda and (ii) invading and occupying a piece of territory inside Cambodia so as to claim a de facto occupation. You have also revealed to the astonishment of the whole world, especially to the other 20 members of the World Heritage Committee including Cambodia that Thai troops by the order of the Abhisit Government have a clear mission that is to stop the conservation and development of a precious world heritage. On the other hand, Cambodian troops fought to defend Cambodia’s sovereignty and safeguard territorial integrity.
Atiya Achakulwisut in presenting the voice of Thai ultra-nationalists has revealed that Thailand do not deserve to be a member of the World Heritage Committee.