4th August 2008
“Thai hegemonism must not be allowed to go on unstopped. This is the 21st century and the policy of hegemony, militarism and expansionism is out of date and is a barbaric form of actions to resolving any neighbourly disputes. Diplomatic and legal approach to resolving any disputes, whether of territorial, diplomatic or legal natures, is the international norm and civilised practice.”
Khmer of all political persuasions, regardless of their political leanings and where they live, should be outraged by the news that Thailand had sent troops to occupy another Khmer temple, the Ta Moan Thom temple.
Thai hegemonism must not be allowed to go on unstopped. This is the 21st century and the policy of hegemony, militarism and expansionism is out of date and is a barbaric form of actions to resolving any neighbourly disputes. Diplomatic and legal approach to resolving any disputes, whether of territorial, diplomatic or legal natures, is the international norm and civilised practice.
The Thai occupation of the Ta Moan Thom temple, while the issue of its occupation of Preah Vihear’s “disputed zone” has not been resolved, has stretched the Cambodian patience to its limits. These sorts of barbaric acts must be condemned in the strongest term.
The Cambodian government must not pretend to be a nice guy with Thailand any more. It must act like a grown up person who can stand up to Thailand’s bully. Militarily, Cambodia is no match for Thailand. But there is a saying that a cornered dog will bite back and bite back hard.
Cambodia cannot stand up to Thailand militarily, but Cambodia has the diplomatic and legal advantages over these two disputes. Cambodia must use these two channels to its advantages before it is too late. To pretend to go along with the bilateral negotiations, which is Thailand’s game of a diplomatic hide-and-seek, is suicidal. By now, after two fruitless talks, Cambodia should have realised that it is a diplomatic game played by Thailand to buy more time in order to prolong the occupation in the hope that the international community would lose their interests in the disputes and Cambodia would soften its stand and agree to share those lands.
Cambodia should lodge a formal complaint to the UN Security Council immediately. The occupation of the Ta Moan temple is another good chance for a complaint to the UN Security Council. Should the UN fail to act, Cambodia must not hesitate in bring the matter to the International Court of Justice in The Hague one more time to settle, not just the Preah Vihear and Ta Moan border disputes, but all the border areas along the borders with Thailand.
If Cambodia fail now to take a decisive action to stop Thailand, Thailand will be unstoppable. Now, it is the occupation of the Ta Moan and Preah Vihear temples. In the future it would be Banteay Chhmar temple or other temples located along the borders with Thailand. Cambodia must act now or it will be too late.//