>TEMPLE OF GLOOM: Temple border talks on today


July 21, 2008

The Nation

The biggest talking point this week is definitely the dispute related to Preah Vihear, which has become an international conflict for Thailand.

The problem led to a confrontation between Thailand and Cambodia and between the People’s Alliance for Democracy and its opponents, including the government.

Today, Supreme Commander Gen Boonsrang Niampradit will represent the Thai government to talk to Cambodian Defence Minister Gen Tea Banh in a meeting of the General Border Committee of the two countries. The meeting is scheduled following tension between the two countries after Cambodia lodged a complaint with the United Nations alleging Thailand deployed troops that occupied Cambodian land near Preah Vihear.

Boonsrang said the meeting would focus on the military issue after the two countries built up their military forces along the borderline near the disputed overlapping land next to the temple last week.

The meeting will be held at the Indochina Hotel in Sa Kaew province.

The conflict between the PAD and its opponents over the issue is getting more serious every day. Clashes between the two sides are expected after the PAD plans to hold rallies in the provinces.

Similar incidents to the blocking of roads in Chiang Rai and hunting for PAD leaders there could happen in other provinces if the PAD goes ahead and holds smaller rallies in other provinces. In Chiang Rai, PAD opponents put up a road block to check passing vehicles to see if PAD leaders were hiding inside and laid siege to some areas to check whether PAD leaders were holding seminars.

Seen as a factor to worsen the confrontation atmosphere, the government will tonight go on air on NBT Channel or Channel 11 at 10pm to respond to allegations of the PAD.

Another highlight of the week is also related to the Preah Vihear issue and it could bring new trouble for the government of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej.

Tomorrow, Parnthep Klanarongrarn, chairman of the National Counter Corruption Commission, will convene a meeting of the NCCC to consider complaints filed against 41 Cabinet members and government officials by the PAD and Bangkok Senator Rosana Tositrakul.

Another move, which should be watched closely is the plan by the People Power Party to impeach certain independent organisations, such as the Election Commission, Constitution Court and State Audit Commission, apart from the NCCC.

Constitutional amendments will also be a highlight when the special House committee studying the problems related to the enforcement of the 2007 Constitution will convene tomorrow.

In another highlight, the Constitution Court is expected to rule this week on whether Deputy Commerce Minister Viroon Techapaiboon was disqualified for failing to inform the NCCC of his assets in full.

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