Posted by admin on Feb-3-2009
By THANIDA TANSUBHAPOL
Negotiations between Thailand and Cambodia over Preah Vihear have stumbled over the spelling of the name of the famed ancient temple.
A Thai official said yesterday officials of the Thai-Cambodian Joint Boundary Commission were trying to find a way around the problem so border negotiations could proceed.
Vasin Teeravechyan, who chairs the commission, said a solution acceptable to the two countries would be found.
Thailand insists on using “the Temple of Phra Viharn-Preah Vihear” on documents used in the negotiations. Cambodian officials strongly object, saying Preah Vihear is internationally accepted.
Mr Vasin, who is a retired Foreign Ministry official, said the name proposed by Thailand was very common in international negotiations on the issue.
The Temple of Phra Viharn-Preah Vihear has been approved by parliament for the framework negotiations with Cambodia. Thailand will use it in documents to be signed with Cambodia.
The meeting will be concluded today.
The two countries have been unable to settle on a plan to reduce troops in the disputed area which covers 4.6 square kilometres between Kantharalak district in Si Sa Ket and the Cambodian province of Preah Vihear.
Mr Vasin refused further comment on the issue. But earlier he said Cambodia had told the meeting it had no soldiers stationed in the area.
The Cambodia delegation is led by Senior Minister Var Kim Hong.
Despite the disagreement over the name of the temple, the two countries will set up another team to survey the borderline for demarcation between Nam Yuen district in Ubon Ratchathani and Phu Sing district in Si Sa Ket, which is 195km long.
Thailand and Cambodia have already formed a survey team to study the disputed area near the ancient temple which was the scene of a military clash last year.
A plan to reduce the number of soldiers near the disputed area is expected to be included in talks when Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan visits Phnom Penh on Friday.
Archive for July, 2009
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Pattaya, July 30 (PDN): as part of the resurrected Silk Route Project, key countries en route are pledged to help their less privileged neighbours develop their road and rail networks. Cambodia currently qualifies and is to be recipient of a Bt1.4 billion soft loan from the Thai government to improve Highway Route 68 from Kralanh to Samrong and O-Smach. This highway is located the subsection designated GMS (Greater Mekong Subregion), connecting SW Cambodia to Eastern Thailand.
On July 28, the Thai Cabinet approved the Bt1.4 billion loan, which was originally proposed in 2008, in the form of a ‘soft loan’ whereby Cambodia will pay 1.5% annual interest, with a grace period for the first 10 years, and will begin repaying the principal after 2019. PM Abhisit Vejjajiva is also interested in strengthening and expanding existing bilateral co-operation, especially by opening more border crossings with Cambodia to boost cross border trade. Previously, the Thai government provided another soft loan of Bt1088 for the improvement of Route 48, the 150 km-long highway betwen Koh Kong- and Sre Ambel, including four bridges en route. Route 48 is also a key tourist route, the improvement of which will boost trade, speed intercommunication and strengthen social networking ties.
The far eastern section of the Silk Route Project links China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Burma and Thailand by road and rail. The intention is to significantly reduce trade barriers and facilitate fast transit across borders so that some of the fabled wealth of th original Silk Road may return to stimulate especially the depressed economies of the region, notably Cambodia and Laos, as well as bringing greater prosperity to the others.
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BANGKOK, July 30 (TNA) – Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday said Cambodia’s concession granted to a French company to explore petroleum in the disputed maritime area will not affect Thailand’s rights over the areas.
Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Vimol Kidchob said the ministry is now verifying information after Cambodia reportedly granted oil exploration rights to the French company Total in the overlapping zone in the Gulf of Thailand.
“Any concession granted by the Cambodian government would not affect the rights of Thailand,” Mr Vimol said, “as both countries agreed in 1975 that any concessionaire would not be allowed to explore or develop petroleum resources in the disputed maritime zone unless Thailand and Cambodia successfully resolve the dispute.”
Director-General Kurujit Nakhonthap of Thailand’s Department of Mineral Fuels said the two governments must negotiate on how to deal with the 26,000 square kilometre overlapping maritime area.
Mr Kurujit said the Thai government once granted exploration licences to Chevron and PTT Exploration and Production in 1971, but four years later the licences were suspended as the dispute has yet been settled.
Regarding the concession given to Total, Mr Kurujit said, the rights to explore petroluem will be possible only when the two countries reach an agreement over the area first.
Meanwhile, the People’s Assembly of Thailand (PAT), led by activists Chaiwat Sinsuwong and Admiral Bannavit Kengrian went to Government House to submit a letter urging Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to preserve Thailand’s rights over the overlapping maritime area and protect Thailand’s sovereignty.
They cited the World Bank and International Monetary Fund studies which earlier estimated that there are about 2 billion barrels of oil reserves, and more than 10 trillion cubic metres of natural gas reserves in the disputed area.
“If the government remains indifference, we will file a complaint to the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission charging that government for negligence of duty for its failure to protect national sovereignty,” Adm Bannavit said.
He said his group urged the Thai government to protest to Cambodia to make it clear that Thailand opposes its neighbour’s move.
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PHNOM PENH, July 30 (Xinhua) — Cambodia and Thailand will have a meeting of multi-committee in Bangkok to push the measurement for border demarcation, a senior official said on Thursday.
“I will go to Thailand for the meeting of multi-committee on August 3 and 4,” Hor Namhong (pictured), deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation told reporters after the signing ceremony of receiving over 33 million U.S. dollars grant aid from Japanese government at his ministry.
“I will require Thai side to continue discussion on the border issues and the Border Committee from both countries will meet soon to discuss on the measurement of the border to plant border posts,” he added.
“The situation at areas near Preah Vihear temple is calm now, and Thai troops are deployed on there soil,” Hor Namhong said. “There are no tension at the border, not like the media reported,” he stressed.
At the same time, Hor also thanked Thai government cabinet for its approving on Tuesday to provide 41.2 million U.S. dollars for road improvement projects in Cambodia. The fund will be used to build Road 68 near border with Thailand, which will help facilitate the trade and tourism between the two countries, he noted.
Moreover, Cambodia and Thailand will open more border gates to push and facilitate the trade and tourism, he said.
Cambodia and Thailand share over 800 km-long borders. The troops from both sides have some confrontation since July 15, 2008, mainly near 11th century Preah Vihear temple.
Editor: Anne Tang
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The rubble of Phsar Krom Market after it was destroyed by Thai shells.
Reported in English by Khmerization
Phsar Krom Market located at the staircase of the Preah Vihear temple which was destroyed by Thai shells during the armed clashes on the 3rd of April is being rebuilt under the order of Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Cambodian troops began transporting building material and timbers to the site, but Mr. Sor Thavy, Governor of Preah Vihear province, admitted that he does not know when the construction will be completed because this is a rainy season. A few weeks ago Prime Minister ordered that the market construction must be completed within one week.
Mr. Ros Heng, Governor of Choam Ksan District where the market is located, said the construction of the market will boost tourism to the temple when the border disputes with Thailand eased.
Mr. Hang Soth, director of the Preah Vihear Authorty, said the market will be rebuilt by using timbers, corrugated iron and thatches.
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Reported in English by Khmerization
A Thai website has said on 27th July that Mr. Rapi Bongboobkit, the governor of Sisaket province, has approved a budget of 4 million Baht ($US100,000) for the construction of 120 bunkers a long the borders in three communes such as Sao Thungchai commune, Phu Phamork commune and Khanthalak commune which is opposite Preah Vihear temple.
According to the same website, 40 to 50 bunkers will be built in each commune.
The Thai authority ordered the building of these bunkers in anticipation of hostilities with Cambodian troops over border disputes. In the last few weeks Thai soldiers had built many bunkers and dug many trenches, some of which were built or dug inside the so-called “overlapping areas” and were later demanded to be dismantled or closed by Cambodian troops.
According to the website, currently, 60% of the bunkers had been completed.
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About 30 members of a network of people following up the Preah Vihear dispute on Monday morning rallied in front of Government House and called on the government to withdraw from the joint Thai-Cambodian statement of June 18 last year which supports Cambodia’s unilateral listing of the temple as a world heritage site.
The joint statement was signed by then foreign minister Noppadon Pattama without prior consent of parliament.
The group, led by ML Walwipa Jaroonroj, an academic at the Institute of Thai Studies at Thammasat University, said the Democrat-led government should revoke the joint statement and formally inform the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) and the world community.
Thailand should also step up its opposition to Cambodia’s unilateral registration of Preah Vihear as a world heritage site, otherwise it could lose its sovereignty over the 4.6 square kilometre border area under dispute and a 1.5 million rai of forest adjacent to Cambodia, said the group.
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Monday, 27 July 2009
By Sebastian Strangio
Phnom Penh Post
Though the Thai government regularly invokes its royalty-protecting regulation, Cambodia’s king and govt have taken a laid-back approach.CAN you get in trouble for insulting the Cambodian King? Under Thailand’s notorious lese majeste laws, one can be jailed for failing to stand up for the national anthem or publicly criticising the monarchy. But sources close to the royal family say that though open insults could get you into hot water, similar laws in Cambodia have been tempered by an established precedent of open expression.AmbiguousThe constitution itself paints an ambiguous picture: Article 7 states that the “person of the King shall be inviolable”, and Article 18 that “royal messages shall not be subjected to discussion by the National Assembly” – but both are far from the sort of punitive laws that exist in other monarchies.
Someone wandered down from the palace and said ‘i don’t think you should sell that’.
Less strictJulio Jeldres, King Father Norodom Sihanouk’s official biographer, said that the Cambodian government is much less strict than that of Thailand or Jordan, where people are still serving lengthy jail terms for lese majeste offences. “In Cambodia, King Sihanouk was the first to signal that he was not going to send to jail writers or journalists that were critical of him,” he said. He said that in his own writings on the royal family he was “completely free” to write whatever he wanted, but “naturally, I am always aware that there are certain boundaries”.But how far can one push the envelope? Australian historian Milton Osborne’s book Sihanouk: Prince of Light, Prince of Darkness was banned for about four weeks in 1994 for its less-than-charitable assessment of the then-King. Casual banBut even the author himself cast light on the casual nature of the “ban”. “One day, soon after the book was released [in Lucky Market], someone wandered down from the palace and said, ‘I don’t think you should sell that’, and so they took it off the shelves,” Osborne said in an interview with the Post last year. “A month later it was back.”Royal privilegesAlthough his son Norodom Sihamoni is the new king, the Cambodian parliament conferred upon Sihanouk following his abdication the title of “Great and Valorous King” enabling him to retain the same privileges and immunities as those constitutionally conferred upon the reigning monarch. This was subsequently enshrined in the Law on the Titles and Privileges of the Former King and Queen of Cambodia on October 29, 2004.
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By KHMER EMPIRE 200BC- 2009 AD
Should Cambodia and Thailand be the “Comity of Nations” ? The blatant answer would be >>> a triple…..NO, NO, NO. Throughout the Khmer history, each Cambodian knows that Thais are ruthlessly uncouth, malicious, and heinous to Khmer civilizations.They had once annihilated the Khmer Empire and still wanted avariciously hysterogenic of annexing the Khmer provinces into its kingdom. Are Cambodians traumatically haunted by the zombies of Thai aggressors ? Of course, they never forget the past nor this present day. vengefully belligerent ? possibly so!!!! As the laws of physics: things go up remain come down to its own gravity. Khmer Empire had reached its own zenith, but unfortunately did not succumb from its own sumptuous molecules, Thais premeditatedly annihilated to its glory. They looted every piece of stones and fearlessly crumbled every precious stones that they impossibly could not transport to its own kingdom.
Can Khmer to abide these gruesome acts ? Absolutely no. Will these two nations shun violence to the future ? might be so, only if Thais to withdraw its troops from Khmer sovereignty. >>>>> Thanks to the French naturalist who triumphantly discovered the Khmer grandiose “ANGKOR” and had overwhelmingly disseminated the news to Europe. His discovery was astonishing the world and soulfully revitalize the new history of ANGKOR. Over a century-and-half ago after the death of Henry, the archaeological stalwarts around the world have flocked to Khmer kingdom to dig out the verity of “ANGKOR” and they astonishingly unveiled the ancient Khmer civilizations. What they had found through their archaeological research was that “ANGKOR WAT” is only the small sumptuous mausoleum of the King Jayvaraman VII. More important that the tomb is ANGKOR once was stretched a thousand mile throughout Southeast Asia which comprised of Cambodia, Vietnam, Lao, Burma, Thailand, and Malaysia.
The recent hi-tech images were taken from outer space revealed to the contemporary archaeologists that “ANGKOR” was the largest preindustrial city with its populations reached 1,000,000 inhabitants. Additionally, the ancient Khmer had an ability to harness the sophisticated irrigational system effectively that other civilizations could never built. I am deeply thankful for our ancient stalwarts and Khmer kings who were indefatigably built ANGKOR for their new generations to learn our own ancestral past.>>>>What matters now with Thailand whose ancestors the squatter ? Mournfully jealous because of their ancestral past the thugs!!!! Should Cambodia bilaterally register PREAH VIHEAR with Thailand to UNESCO? Ostensibly murky. Using its military forces to conquer the world heritage ? Please, please,please.
Is Thailand a civilized country, or full of arcanely heinous politicains ? BANGKOK is comprised of brothels, drugs, and stolen Khmer’s Angkorian precious carving stones. The facts that the more Thai nationals haunted by the Khmer ruins, the most likely that they will face truculently malicious to themselves. >>>>>What happens to their internally political stalemate ? More Thai troops to adjoining PREAH VIHEAR with modern sophisticated weaponry ? How about economic woe in its northeastern state: BURRIRAM. Since deployment and redeployment of its troops, the BURRIRAM national park has to be closed for security reasons. How about its southern state bordering with Malaysia ? Political uprisings and more likely to gain independence soon from Malaysia with sporadic bombs and suicide-bombers valorously intrepid of death. >>>>Ultimately, a few skirmish along the border conspicuously told Khmers that Thailand had lost the war. How about the pictures of weaponry above, don’t they show that Thailand has an ability to encroach the Khmer sovereigty ? Hell no, the Thai comrades just show off to impress its citizens to divert the facts about its internally political stalemate, economic woe, and distracting from pro-Thaksin vengeance. Will Thailand sustain its military powers by using these weaponry ? Only testing each superpowers militarily capable weaponry could adjudicate the history.
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Cambodian National Assembly President Heng Samrin, right, walks with his Thailand counterpart Chai Chidchob, center right, at the Cambodia National Assembly in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, July 23, 2009. Chai Chidchob pays a two-day official visit to Cambodia.
Source: Khmer Sthapana newspaper
Reported in English by Khmerization
Cambodian civil society are disappointing at the behaviours of the Thai institutions for pointing fingers at each other when it comes to who has the powers to resolve border conflicts with Cambodia.
Mr. Heng Samrin reportedly told Mr. Chai Chidchob, who is an ethnic Khmer from Surin province, to withdraw Thai troops from Cambodian territories during a meeting at the parliament house on the afternoon of 23rd July, but the later can only promise to convey the message to the Thai government.
Mr. Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association, said that he is disappointed with answers of the visiting Thai Speaker of the Thai parliament.
In the past, Cambodian leaders had made the same request to the leaders of Thai government about troop withdrawals but they responded the withdrawals cannot be done until the agreements were ratified by the Thai parliament.
Cambodia and Thailand signed several agreements about troop withdrawals but the agreements are still awaiting approval from the Thai parliament, nearly a year of the agreements were signed.
Mr. Rong Chhun said the finger-pointing between the different branches of the Thai institutions is disappointing. Mr. Rong Chhun said this is a Thai tactics of blame games because they have no real intentions of withdrawing their troops from Cambodian territories.
Mr. Rong Chhun urged the Cambodian government to stop engaging in bilateral negotiations with Thailand because numerous talks in the past resulted in no solution. He said the Cambodian government should take the matter to the international mediation by using the Franco-Siamese Treaty of 1907 as base.
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HUNDREDS of families from Phnom Penh’s former Dey Krahorm community that are currently eking out an existence in the outskirts of the city have asked to be relocated to areas along the Thai border in Preah Vihear province, residents told the Post Thursday.
Long Dara, a community representative, said hundreds of families from Dey Krahorm were living in shelters at the Damnak Trayoeng relocation site in Dangkor district, and that local developer 7NG had yet to provide them with satisfactory housing.
He said the villagers had decided to push for a move to Preah Vihear after hearing the prime minister announce the availability of land in the province.
“They were happy after hearing Prime Minister Hun Sen say on local television that he has land to provide to poor families,” Long Dara said. “After that, they came to talk with us about presenting a plan to ask the government for land. Now they want to live in Preah Vihear.”
Long Dara said the Damnak Trayoeng site, located about 16 kilometres from the city, is home to 578 families that were evicted from Dey Krahorm, including more than 100 that were kicked out in a violent eviction in January.
“We are preparing the documents to present to the authorities, and will ask that they pass them along to Prime Minister Hun Sen,” he added.
Kem Yan, another community representative, said 85 percent of the residents were willing to make the move north and had thumbprinted documents that were submitted to authorities in Dangkor district’s Choam Chao commune.
In addition to land, he said, residents are also requesting that authorities provide them with transportation to Preah Vihear and enough food to last them for the first month.
“They want to go because they want to get real land and a house. They don’t want to live like they do right now,” Kem Yan said.
“They have been evicted for nearly a year, but they still live in a shelter along the road.”
At dawn on January 24, hundreds of police and construction workers forcibly evicted the remaining families from the Dey Krahorm community in central Phnom Penh.
The residents were evicted to make way for a commercial and residential development to be built by 7NG. Six months later, the land remains undeveloped.
Former Dey Krahorm resident Horn Sar said the families were tired of living in constant limbo and wanted to settle somewhere for good.
“We don’t want to live somewhere a short time and move again and again like this, to live forever worrying about being evicted,” he said.
But he said he was not confident that the government would make land in Preah Vihear available, adding, “I don’t know how long we will wait to get a result from the authorities.”
Move in the works?
Choam Chao commune Chief Soth Sath said he had heard that residents were considering a move, but had not yet received the request in writing.
He said, “I will help them to pass the documents to senior officials if I receive their documents, but I don’t know if they will agree or not. It is up to the government.”
But Soth Sath questioned the figure of 578 families, calling it a “fake number” designed to obtain extra land in Preah Vihear. He said the real number was around 380.
Asked about the proposed move, Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Pa Socheatvong said Thursday that he would “think about it”, though he
expressed concern that the residents would simply sell the land and move back to Phnom Penh.
“If we give them the land they will take it to sell and come back again and again. If we give them the land we must find a way to lock them into the deal,” he said.