Archive for July 2010
PP Post Staff
Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said yesterday that his government would cease cooperating with UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee if the body approves Cambodia’s management plan for Preah Vihear temple.
According to The Nation newspaper, a Thai delegation present at the meeting in Brazil, which runs until August 3, will lobby against Cambodia’s proposed management plan for the World Heritage site, which is to be presented this week.
Abhisit was quoted as saying that he would not cooperate with the WHC if the plan were approved, following a meeting with pro-government Yellow Shirt leaders yesterday that was spurred by protests outside UNESCO’s Bangkok headquarters on Tuesday. The Thai objections are based on claims that a 4.6-kilometre plot of land adjacent to the temple has not been properly demarcated.
“We think the World Heritage Committee should not consider this plan until Thailand and Cambodia have agreed upon the demarcation line,” Abhisit said. When asked if Thailand would withdraw from the WHC if the plan were approved, he was quoted as saying: “There are many options. We may consider harsh measures”.
Also yesterday, the Thai cabinet passed three resolutions relating to the WHC meeting, pledging that Bangkok would “review its membership at [UNESCO] if the international agency endorses the management plan”.
Cambodian government officials said Thailand’s statements concerning the issue would harm its international reputation. Tith Sothea, spokesman for the Press and Quick Reaction Unit at the Council of Ministers, said yesterday that the objections were part of an attempt by the Thai
government and “extremists” to “pollute the atmosphere” of relations between the two countries.
“Cambodia doesn’t care at all about the objection,” he said. “The objection was created by a group of extremists and the government in a campaign to pollute the atmosphere and show Thailand’s intention to invade Cambodia. The objection by Thailand will destroy its own honour in the international community.”
Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said yesterday that the International Court of Justice awarded Preah Vihear temple to Cambodia in 1962. He added that Cambodia’s claim to the 4.6-square-kilometre area of scrub next to the temple was based on a 1908 map produced by France and Thailand, then known as Siam.
“Thailand claimed the land belonged to it in 2007, referring to a unilaterally produced map,” he said. “Thailand’s falsified establishment of the map to claim the area is an international crime.
“So the 4.6 square kilometres is a falsification by Thais to claim Cambodia’s land. Now Thailand’s policy, if they get nothing, they want to co-manage the eco-management.”
Calculated executioner in mission to destroy YOU of no LOSS to keep YOU of no GAIN to his leap forward revolutionary wheel under the hurling bright red blood prolitarian flag of his brilliant ANGKAR vision.
PPpost by Thet Sambath
Former Khmer Rouge cadres in the regime’s onetime stronghold of Northwestern Cambodia said yesterday that they were uninterested in Monday’s verdict against Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Guek Eav at the Kingdom’s war crimes tribunal, and untroubled by the prospect of further prosecutions.
Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Brigade 8 commander Yim Phim, a former Khmer Rouge military commander whose RCAF troops are now stationed at Preah Vihear temple, said he was aware of Monday’s proceedings but had not followed them closely.
“I am not interested in this verdict, and neither are my soldiers,” Yim Phim said. “I don’t see it as necessary.”
Although the court had begun preliminary investigations in its third and fourth cases, and prosecutors had submitted a list of five unnamed potential suspects in September, Yim Phim said he and other former cadres were unconcerned.
“If Samdech Hun Sen is in power, I believe it will be no problem and there will be no more arrests,” Yim Phim said. The prime minister has publicly expressed his opposition to prosecutions beyond the court’s second case.
In the most widely discussed aspect of Monday’s ruling, judges sentenced Kaing Guek Eav – alias Duch – to 30 years in prison. This penalty was reduced from 35 years because of Duch’s illegal detention from 1999 to 2007, and with credit for time already served, he will spend just 19 more years in prison.
Many victims expressed anger at this relatively light sentence, though Kong Doung, a former Khmer Rouge radio officer who is now director of Pailin province’s information department, said he was puzzled by this sentiment.
“Why do they want him to spend his whole life in prison? There is no need for this kind of vengeance,” Kong Doung said. Most people near the border, he said, were more concerned with the ongoing standoff with Thailand than with the Khmer Rouge tribunal.
“We are worried about Preah Vihear temple – we want to know whether the Thai troops will withdraw or not,” Kong Doung said.
Keut Sothea, a former Khmer Rouge military officer and now a member of the Pailin provincial council, said he had not tuned in for the announcement of Monday’s verdict.
More basic concerns, he said, occupied the minds of his constituents.
“People are too busy working and farming to feed their families and children,” he said.
Khan Nang, a former Khmer Rouge soldier now living in Banteay Meanchey province’s Malai disrict, said he did not take the tribunal seriously because it was not investigating all of those responsible for committing atrocities under Democratic Kampuchea.
“I do not see it as justice because the trials are just for a few leaders,” Khan Nang said. “They should try all the cadres who were involved in these crimes, even those who are leaders in the government today.”
One question on the minds of some observers in the aftermath of Monday’s verdict was whether Duch, already the beneficiary of a reduced sentenced, could see his prison term further reduced by earning parole.
Upon the conclusion of their cases, the Cambodian government assumes responsibility for suspects convicted at the Khmer Rouge tribunal.
Suspects convicted in the Cambodian criminal system are eligible for parole after having served two thirds of their sentences.
The 2004 Law on the Establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia states that the government “shall not request an amnesty or pardon” for anyone convicted at the tribunal, and ECCC deputy prosecutor William Smith said Tuesday that this provision thus excluded the possibility of parole.
Asked about the legal status of Duch’s detention, Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak said it was “a good question” and referred questions to ECCC officials. Phnom Penh Municipal Court president Chiv Keng said such detention procedure was “under the ECCC’s duty”.
UN court spokesman Lars Olsen said Tuesday that there were “established procedures in Cambodian law for applying for parole, and it is not within the ECCC’s mandate to enforce those rules”.
The World Heritage Committee is expected to decide on Cambodia’s proposed management plan for Preah Vihear temple on Thursday night Thailand time, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Suwit Khunkitti said in a television interview from Brazil on Thursday.
The committee, meeting in Brasilia, earlier postponed a decision on the issue for 24 hours to allow Thailand and Cambodia to iron out their dispute on the sidelines of the meeting.
The issue has been put on the agenda for 10am Brazil time, about 10pm Thursday Thailand time.
The postponement followed a protest in Bangkok and the Thai government’s threat to resign its membership of the committee if it approves Cambodia’s management plan.
Mr Suwit said Cambodia insists on pressing ahead with its management plan, which Thailand strongly opposes.
Speaking after a 45-minute discussion with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, who heads the Cambodian delegation, Mr Suwit said he would work to his best ability to protect Thailand’s national interest, but that what actually happens is up to the decision of all 21 WHC members. He however hoped that the WHC will comprehend the adverse impact that might occur if it endorses Cambodia’s plan.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said in the afternoon that the conflict over Preah Vihear should be brought back into the framework of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by Thailand and Cambodia in 2000.
The MoU was about demarcating the boundary of Preah Vihear temple. The work was carried out by the Thai-Cambodia Joint Commission on the Demarcation of the Land Boundary (JBC).
Mr Abhisit said the sidelines meeting between Thai and Cambodian diplomats during the World Heritage Committee meeting in Brazil had not been fruitful.
“Thailand has made it clear that we will accept Cambodia’s management plan for the temple only if the temple is jointly listed between the two countries,” he said.
The WHC approved Cambodia’s listing of Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage site two years ago.
Responding to Cambodia foreign minister Hor Namhong’s comments that Cambodian troops would fire at Thais who intrude into the disputed land, Mr Abhisit said that Thai security forces were prepared in case of violence.
He also said that Thailand’s stance is not that much different from Cambodia’s.
In Phnom Penh, Thai charge d’affaires Chalotorn Phaovibul, said that the situation along the Thai-Cambodia border was normal following Thailand’s opposition to Cambodia’s management plan for the temple.
Mr Chalotorn said he believed Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen would not react until the World Heritage Committee decides whether to approve Cambodia’s management plan for the ancient Hindu temple.
Any reinforcement of troops along the border is normal, he said, adding that he has not received reports of any unusual situation there.
The Foreign Ministry has instructed him to monitor Phnom Penh’s reaction and reported back to Bangkok, he said.
No matter what the WHC’s decision would be, Mr Chalotorn said he believed Thailand and Cambodia would each refrain from violence and use diplomatic means to solve their conflict.
The Nation—The postponement came after Cambodia’s representatives requested an urgent talk with Thai Natural Resource and Environment Minister Suwit Khunkitti who is at the WH committee meeting in Brazil.
The panel will decide the matter again at about 10pm Bangkok time.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday considered options to retaliate against Unesco if the WH Committee approved the controversial Preah Vihear temple management plan.
PM revealed the option although the United Nations agency has guaranteed that the Hindu temple’s inscription has nothing to do with the disputed border areas with Cambodia.
Among the options suggested by ministers was for Natural Resource and Environment
Suwit Khunkitti threatened to stage a walkout, and withdraw Thailand’s membership from the Unesco committee.
Abhisit blamed the Unesco committee for listing Preah Vihear, which had created conflict between the two neighbouring countries. “If Unesco accepts the plan, it will create a wide rift between the people of the two countries,” he was quoted by a source as saying at the Cabinet meeting.
Abhisit had instructed Suwit to lobby for a delay of the Preah Vihear management plan until the border dispute with Cambodia could be settled.
Siam reignites intent to go to war with Cambodia over a patch of land near Temple.This is a ploy that Abhisit and his government desperately uses to defuse the situation as his Democrats Party is under the scrutiny which may lead to dissolution and ban from political participation and future election.
Siam army is currently recruiting, enlisting and reshuffling Khmer decendants living inside its current borders to front the battlefields, if the war broke out with Cambodia.
បន្ទាប់មករាមាទី៥បានយល់ព្រមទទួលស្គាល់ព្រំប្រទល់ខ្មែរសៀមដែលបានកំណត់ពី១៩០៤ ១៩០៧យកមកប្រើក្នុងតុលាការអន្តរជាតិកាត់ក្តីឆ្នាំ១៩៦២រហូតមកទល់នឹងស្តេចរាមាទី៩ រាល់ថ្ងៃនេះវាមិនបានយកចិត្តទុកដាក់បញ្ចប់ជម្លោះទឹកដីចាស់ៗនោះទេហើយថែមទាំងបានគាំទ្រពពួកបរិវារអភិសិទ្ទិនិងលិនមិងដាហៅស៊ុន្ធីលឹមទងកូលញុះញង់ទាល់តែមានងាប់ទាហានសៀមឈាមជ័រខ្មែរ១២ក្បាលនិងខ្មែរ៣ក្បាលទើបបានវាផ្អាករហូតដល់ពេលនេះ។ខ្មែរគួរកុំភ្លេចប្រវត្តិនៃការចាញ់បោកពូជសៀមដែលនាំមកការវិនាសហិនហោចដល់មហានគរ ក្រុងលង្វែក រួចខេត្តទាំង
ប៉ុន្មាននៅខ្ពង់រាបទល់នឹងជួរភ្នំដងរែកមានសូរិន្ទ ម្លូរព្រៃ រយ់ង បូរីរាំ ចន្ទបូរី បូរីរាំ រយ៉ង ត្រាត អូរធំជាដើម រួចមកថ្មីៗ
នេះ មានបាត់ដំបង អង្គរ កំពង់ធំ រហូតមកតាមយាយីដល់ព្រះវិហារសព្វថ្ងៃនេះថែមទៀត។
Cambodia shall appreciate the Google Earth in showing correct map.
BANGKOK – Thailand’s army is prepared to defend its border with Cambodia if a territorial dispute heats up, the prime minister said Wednesday, as the two nations were set to tussle on the diplomatic front at a UN meeting in Brazil.
Deadly clashes have flared in the past over the Preah Vihear temple, which the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation named a World Heritage site in 2008, over Thailand’s objections. Two Thai soldiers were killed and 12 wounded in April 2009 after troops exchanged fire with assault rifles and rocket launchers along Cambodia’s northern border near the temple, one of several clashes in recent years.
Cambodia will present a management plan in Brazil on the disputed territory at a Unesco meeting this week.
The International Court of Justice in 1962 ruled the 10th-century border temple belongs to Cambodia, rejecting Thai claims. Cambodia’s World Heritage bid reignited Thai resentment over the ruling, and there have been small armed clashes in the area during the past few years.
Thailand claims the management plan would infringe on a small area of undemarcated territory around the temple, of which both sides stake a claim. It has called on Unesco to reject the plan, and said it will walk out of the meeting if it is accepted.
It also said it would consider withdrawing from Unesco’s membership if Cambodia’s plan is accepted. Leaders of both countries have used the issue to stir up nationalist sentiment and shore up domestic political support. — AP
The government orders Minister Suwit to walk out in protest if the World Heritage Committee meeting in Brazil discusses Cambodia’s management plan for Preah Vihear temple without regard for Thailand’s protest.