Saturday, February 05, 2011

OPINION: When all else failed, Abhisit Vejjajiva goes to war

The Bangkok Post online published on 5 February 2011under the title: “Five Thais detained in two-hour border battle” is not an ordinary professional news reporting. It is the usual way that the Bangkok Post is tasked by the Abhisit government to intoxicate the international public opinion. The Bangkok Post utilizes the Google Earth map to pinpoint the flash points of the 4 February 2011 battle between the Cambodian and Thai troops. In so doing, as the Abhisit government ordered and as it was accepted by the Bangkok Post, both the Thai government and the Bangkok Post attempted to intoxicate the public international opinion about the actual frontier line between the two countries. They cannot fool the international public opinion, especially international boundary scholars and legal boundary experts who know beyond all pretentions that between Cambodia and Thailand there is a final and permanent frontier line delimited by the Mixed Commissions composed of French and Thai officers under the provisions of articles I and III of the 13 February 1904 Franco-Siamese Treaty.
In his oral presentation on 1 March 1962 before the International Court of Justice, the Cambodian lead lawyer, Mr. Dean Acheson pointed out that: “The spirit in which boundary provisions as Article V of a Boundary Protocol of November 1913 between Persia and Turkey and I quote from that Protocol: ‘As soon as part of the frontier has been delimited, such part shall be regarded as finally fixed and shall not be liable to subsequent examination or revision.”
This is to tell the Abhisit government and the Bangkok Post that Google Earth map used by them to intoxicate the international public opinion and to claim the territory under Cambodian sovereignty is ill-will and irrelevant. It will never ever be accepted by any international forum whether it is under ASEAN, or the United Nations, or the International Court of Justice. Google is not stupid, but the Abhisit government and the Bangkok Post are. For Google, it is Google Earth map and as the title so indicates this is an “earth map” not a frontier map as being delimited by parties to an international agreement, and therefore neither the Abhisit government, nor the Bangkok Post can show Google Earth map as evidence, an evidence at the International Court of Justice that this Court had to accept it for a re-examination or revision of the frontier line claimed by two countries. It could be that the Abhisit government and the Bangkok Post would say, not yet, Thailand will have a case. As the saying goes, let a fool be a fool. Unmistakably, Thailand would not consciously want to be again and again a laughing stock of the international legal community.
On the same line, in its 5 February 2011 publication under the title: “Border clashes kill six,” The Nation produced a sketch of a map showing a unilateral frontier line, inside the territory under sovereignty of Cambodia, south of the internationally recognized frontier line, therefore crating an area claimed by Thailand as a “disputed area”.  Thailand, for all intents and purposes, Thailand does not have any international treaty to justify its claim of a “disputed area”. Driven by its insatiable territorial ambition over Cambodian territory, Thailand leaders behaves no less hideous than Hitler and Mussolini during World War II who justified their invasion and occupation of foreign lands by drawing unilateral maps with new frontier lines inside foreign lands. Up to the present, Thailand territorial ambition over Cambodian territory has proven to be a sad failure. It is actually the origin of armed clashes between the two neighbor countries for two different and opposite reasons. For Thailand, it is territorial expansion and for Cambodia it is the defense of national sovereignty and the safeguard of the territorial integrity.       
What is left for Thailand to do when its campaign of intoxication is exposed and gradually understood by the international public opinion?
What is left for Thailand to do when their own legal experts concede that the Franco-Siamese Treaties of 1904 and 1907 are binding and perpetual?
What is left for Thailand to do when it cannot separate the 13 February 1904 Franco-Siamese Treaty (the 1904 Convention) from the Dangrek Map, known as ANNEX I map by the ICJ?
What is left for Thailand to do when Cambodia has become united, leaving no room for Thailand to exploit factional divisions?
            When all else failed, while the nationalist fervor is unabated, the pressure and the ultimatum by the PAD on the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is a golden opportunity to resort to the military action in the best irresponsible manner. However the dual purpose of Abhisit military campaign against Cambodia, (i) to destroy Keo Sikkha Kiri Svara pagoda and (ii) to occupy de facto a piece of Cambodian territory is a serious matter which is not easily diluted from his mind, knowing who Abhisit Vejjajiva is.
Now that the war, a real and serious war is imposed on Cambodia, the Cambodian people will rely entirely on the leadership and the wisdom of Samdech Akka Moha Sena padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
Waddhana P
Senior Analyst and Researcher on
Cambodian-Thai Relations
Institute for International Affairs, Cambodia
5 February 2011

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