Preah Vihear – Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Solution: “Dialogue, No Winning or Losing” – Sunday, 8.8.2010

Posted on 8 August 2010. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 676 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 676

When The Mirror presented, as last Sunday’s issue, a series of quotes and excerpts from publicly available documents it was done with the hope that some quick negative conclusions – not based on available texts, either disregarding, or even contradicting them – can be avoided.

Some steps in time are clear and not contested, especially the 1962 decision of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, stating that it …FINDS THAT THE TEMPLE OF PREAH VIHEAR IS SITUATED IN TERRITORY UNDER THE SOVEREIGNTY OF CAMBODIA.

Some other steps on the way are less well known widely, while they were also called into memory, for example some principles on which the World Heritage List is operated, as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. It is not about national interests, but about culture as “part of the world heritage of mankind as a whole.” The convention makes it clear that decisions about cultural world heritage do not make any judgment on the sovereignty and territory of States:

Whilst fully respecting the sovereignty of the States on whose territory the cultural and natural heritage… is situated, and without prejudice to property right provided by national legislation, the States Parties to this Convention recognize that such heritage constitutes a world heritage for whose protection it is the duty of the international community as a whole to co-operate. (Article 6.1).

The inclusion of a property situated in a territory, sovereignty or jurisdiction over which is claimed by more than one State, shall in no way prejudice the rights of the parties to the dispute. (Article 11.3).

The UNESCO World Heritage Convention is concerned about World Heritage Sites, “part of the world heritage of mankind as a whole,” not about the solution of border problems.

There are rules and decisions of the World Heritage Committee, and there are declarations on the way to the decision of 2008 when the Temple of Preah Vihear was listed as a World Heritage Site, together with decisions how to elaborate its management. Though a management plan, prepared by the Cambodian side, is to be discussed only by the next meeting of the World Heritage Committee in 2011, statements by Prime Minister Hun Sen, quoted in the Cambodia Daily on 5 August 2010, cleared the way into the future:


“Mr. Hun Sen said yesterday that dialogue was the way forward for the two countries. ‘We will use dialogue to solve the rest of the problem,’ he said. ‘I don’t want winning or losing – it is better that we have the win together in solving the problem.’”

Actually, there are two separate – but related – problems:

One problem is concerned with the management plan for Preah Vihear requested by the World Heritage Committee with its 2008 decision to list the Temple of Preah Vihear, where it:

Notes that the property proposed for inscription is reduced and comprises only the Temple of Preah Vihear and not the wider promontory with its cliffs and caves;
Encourages Cambodia to collaborate with Thailand for safeguarding the value of the property, in view of the fact that peoples of the surrounding region have long treasured the Temple of Preah Vihear,..
Requests the State Party of Cambodia, in collaboration with UNESCO, to convene an international coordinating committee for the safeguarding and development of the property no later than February 2009, inviting the participation of the Government of Thailand and not more than seven other appropriate international partners, to examine general policy matters relating to the safeguarding of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property in conformity with international conservation standards…

The other problem is related to the demarcation of the Cambodian-Thai border, for which both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2000. The Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was quoted on 8 August 2010, to have said that “Thailand has no intention of revoking the border Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Cambodia inked in 2000” – he said so in response to a “demonstration in the [Thai] capital yesterday demanding the Thai government to cancel the Memorandum of Understanding.” The same report says that “under the Memorandum of Understanding, Cambodia and Thailand need to consult each other if they want to carry out any activities in the disputed 4.6 sq km territory claimed by both countries near the Preah Vihear Temple.” It is not clear whether this Memorandum was published in the media in Cambodia – only the fact of its existence, not its content, has been referenced regularly in the press.

That these border problems also need to be addressed, was obviously agreed by both sides, as it is stated in the large Cambodian 2008 Submission Document, separating the two issues: the World Heritage inscription – and the border problems:

On 6 May 2008 His Excellency Mr. SOK An, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, welcomed his Excellency Mr. Virasakdi Futrakul, Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand accompanied by a Thai delegation during their visit to Phnom Penh. The Kingdom of Cambodia strongly stresses that the inscription of the Temple of Preah Vihear is without prejudice to the demarcation work of the Cambodian-Thai Joint Commission on Demarcation for Land Boundary (JBC) between Cambodia and Thailand; and the zoning (“Zonage” in French) stipulated in the document submitted by Cambodia to UNESCO shall not be considered as boundary line.

The Kingdom of Thailand reconfirmed its support of the Heritage Committee to be held in Quebec, Canada in July 2008. For it part, the Kingdom of Cambodia, in a spirit of goodwill and conciliation, accepted to inscribe the Temple of Preah Vihear on the List of the World Heritage, at this stage, without a buffer zone on the north and west of the Temple

The proposals of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has also in other situations worked successful for win-win results, solving complex problems, provide a clear way towards a solution for both problem, based on the existing common agreements.

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The Government of Finland Promised to Grant More Than US$9 Million to Cambodia for 2009 and 2010 – Saturday, 6.2.2010

Posted on 7 February 2010. Filed under: Week 650 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 650

“Phnom Penh: During the Cambodian development cooperation forum in Phnom Penh from 4 to 5 December 2008, the Government of Finland promised to grant US$9,086,107 to Cambodia for 2009 and 2010.

“The president of the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Ponhea Chakrey Heng Samrin, said so during a meeting with the new Ambassador of the Republic of Finland, Ms. Sirpa Maenpaa, on 5 February 2010 at the National Assembly.

“He added that from 1992 to 2008, Finland has granted more than US$25 million aid to Cambodia. As for the trade relations between both countries, Cambodia exports products to Finland amounting to more than US$1.2 million, and Finland exports products to Cambodia of more than US$1.6 million.

“During the audience with Samdech Heng Samrin after she had submitted her diplomatic credentials to the King of the Kingdom of Cambodia in the morning of 5 February 2010, the Ambassador of Finland said that as an ambassador, she will encourage closer ties and cooperation between Cambodia and Finland, and the Government of Finland promised to keep on cooperating with Cambodia. Previously, both countries had cooperated in the field of administration and in projects to alleviate poverty among people living around the Tonle Sap Lake. She promised to encourage the Government of Finland to step up aid for Cambodia.

“The new Ambassador of Finland told Samdech Heng Samrin that some members of parliament of Finland plan to visit Cambodia in the middle of March, and they hope to meet with Samdech Heng Samrin and to have working sessions with some of the special committees of the National Assembly of Cambodia.

“Samdech Heng Samrin agreed with these plans and welcomes the upcoming visit from the parliament of Finland.

“Samdech Heng Samrin expressed his gratitude towards Ms. Sirpa Maenpaa, the newly appointed ambassador of the Republic of Finland, for spending her busy time to meet and to greet him. Also, Samdech Heng Samrin explained her the situation of Cambodia and its parliamentary institutions and the legislative process. Summing this up, he said that the current situation in Cambodia is stable and peaceful, thus, favorable for developments in all sectors.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5119, 6.2.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 6 February 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #407, 6.2.2010

  • One Khmer-Canadian and Two Khmer Accomplices Were Sentenced to Serve Eight Years in Prison and in Addition They Were Fined Riel 8 Million [approx. US$1,900, for Drug Smuggling – Phnom Penn]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2170, 6.2.2010

  • Cambodian Officials Demanded Google to Remove an Illegal Map from Their Website [showing that Cambodia loses some territory at the border]

Note:

Secretary of State at the Cambodia’s Council of Ministers Svay Sitha is quoted to have written to the Internet company Google, which makes maps of the whole world accessible, free of charge, to all Internet users, “We… request that you withdraw the already disseminated, very wrong and not internationally recognized map and replace it.”He calls the map “radically misleading,” “devoid of truth and reality,” and “professionally irresponsible.”

Actually, Google does not claim that its free service represents internationally recognized borders; it specifically posts a disclaimer which says:

  • 6. (a) GOOGLE AND ITS LICENSORS… MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES REGARDING THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF ANY CONTENT OR THE PRODUCTS.

To illustrate the problem further, we bring several maps or sections of maps, followed by brief explanations.

Google Map

Google Map

Cambodian Claim towards World Heritage Listing

Cambodian Claim towards World Heritage Listing

The section of the Internet Google map of the Preah Vihear area has a white border line between Cambodia and Thailand – though the real border is neither marked nor agreed upon between both countries. The contours of the Preah Vihear Temple can be seen not only on the Google map, but also – the small, narrow shape in light pale red in the middle of the picture on the right– on the map presented by the Cambodian delegation in June 2008, explaining that for the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site, Cambodia claims only, at that time, the temple and an area of about 30 meter around the main temple complex, as shown in the map – in light red – signed by the chair of the Cambodia Border Commission.

According to the decisions of the World Heritage Committee of 2008, when the Preah Vihear Temple was listed, this was done together with the following conditions written down in the minutes of this UNESCO commission:

    14.Requests the State Party of Cambodia, in collaboration with UNESCO, to convene an international coordinating committee for the safeguarding and development of the property no later than February 2009, inviting the participation of the Government of Thailand and not more than seven other appropriate international partners, to examine general policy matters relating to the safeguarding of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property in conformity with international conservation standards;
    15.Requests the State Party of Cambodia to submit to the World Heritage Center, by 1 February 2009, the following documents:

  • “a) a provisional map providing additional details of the inscribed property and a map delineating the buffer zone identified in the RGPP;
  • “b) updated Nomination dossier to reflect the changes made to the perimeter of the property;
  • “c) confirmation that the management zone for the property will include the inscribed property and buffer zone identified in the RGPP;
  • “d) progress report on the preparation of the Management Plan; 16.Further requests the State Party of Cambodia to submit to the World Heritage Center by February 2010, for submission to the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010 a full Management Plan for the inscribed property, including a finalized map.”

We are not aware that anything has been published, when the Cambodian government has invited the participation of the Government of Thailand and others to examine the policy how to operate this World Heritage site, including the map delineating the [contested] buffer zone and the management zones previously identified in presentation of the Royal Government of Cambodia, and the area of the Temple of Preah Vihear, and a progress report about a management plan, including a “finalized map.”

The strong criticism against the Google map is surprising when one compares the maps which the Cambodian government’s Department of Geography produced for years, until recently, and which can be seen in many offices: they do not mention Preah Vihear at all, and the borderline does not even show that the Temple of Preah Vihear lies on Cambodian territory – according to a ruling of the International Court of Justice in 1962. The Google map does reflect this – though without indicating that there are contested buffer zones. The map of the Cambodian government’s Geography Department, issued in 2000, does not reflect this, but shows a borderline just as some Thai nationalists who reject the ruling of 1992 claim it. The Google map is showing Cambodia’s national interests clearer than the maps of the Cambodian government’s Geography Department.

Description of the Map: printed in 2000

Description of the Map: printed in 2000

Preah Vihear not mentioned, border shown in favor of Thailand

Preah Vihear not mentioned, border shown in favor of Thailand



.

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #599, 6.2.2010

  • France Criticized the Suspension of the Immunity of Mr. Sam Rainsy and of Opposition Party Parliamentarians in Cambodia
  • [Thai Deputy Prime Minister] Suthep Thaungsuban Ordered the Sisaket Governor and Siamese [Thai] Soldiers to Welcome [Prime Minister] Hun Sen [during his visit at the border on 6 February 2010]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6877, 6-7.2.2010

  • The Chinese Ambassador [Ms. Zhang Jinfeng 张金凤] Finished Her Term of Service in Cambodia and Met the Municipal Governor [Mr. Kep Chuktema] to Say Goodbye

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5119, 6.2.2010

  • Bangkok Is Nervous Ahead of the Visit of Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen to the Border
  • The Government of Finland Promised to Grant More Than US$9 Million to Cambodia for 2009 and 2010
  • A Car Overturned Suddenly, Killing Two People and Injuring Eighteen [Siem Reap]
  • A Leader of the Red-Shirt Groups [supporters of ousted and fugitive former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Was Shot Dead after Demonstrating in Front of an Army Base

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
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Monday, 15.9.2008: The Ministry of Defense Calls for the Recruitment of Soldiers

Posted on 16 September 2008. Filed under: Week 578 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 578

“General Phan Nguon, a military official of the Ministry of Defense, provided information to students and youth who have the intention to become soldiers to serve the nation. The recruitment procedures were announced through the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Television [TV5] yesterday morning, while Siam [Thai] black-clad soldiers [from the Special Border Protectin Forces] continuously invade Khmer territory in the west.

“The announcement said that the Ministry of Defense informs students and youth who have the intention to become officers and soldiers to register – and then future officers are required to undergo a four years training, while the normal soldiers are required to go through a six months training.

“The announcement shows several entry points, but it focuses, for the first intake, on the army. The training of the recruits may be inside or outside of the country, and the Ministry points out that both male and female students are being addressed, who have graduated with a high school diploma or have grades comparable, and have the intention to volunteer to become members of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces – if this applies, interested persons should complete one of the following forms:

Four years training course of the thirteenth intake active soldiers
Four years training course of the first intake for army officers

“The announcement provides detailed information to the volunteers how to become soldiers, and explains how to complete the forms at the Office of Personnel of the Armed Forces Headquarters opposite of the Lux Cinema, and at other town and provincial military outposts countrywide. The date to accept forms starts from the day of the announcement until 26 November 2008, daily and any time of the day.

“The announcement for the recruitment of soldiers is made while a neighboring country of Cambodia invades Cambodian territory in western regions, especially the Siamese [Thai] thief that invades to occupy Khmer Temples along the border at many places, like the regions near the Preah Vihear Temple, the Ta Moan Thom Temple, the Ta Krabei Temple, the Chub Kokir region, and some regions in Anlong Veng and Oddar Meanchey. As for the number of Khmer soldiers, claimed to be around 120,000 to 130,000, it appears that this is only a number, but in fact, there are probably less than half of this number. Because when the nation is in danger, like when the Siamese thief invades the country, there are not enough soldier to respond.

Note:

In the last Editorial we referred to some of the more delicate, and still not discussed problems between both countries; it can be accessed also here.

“Mr. Yim Sovann, the head of the Fourth Committee of the National Assembly and a high ranking official of the Sam Rainsy Party, informed Khmer Machas Srok about the number of soldiers he had received from the Ministry of Defense, ‘For now, I doubt that the number of soldiers is between 120,000 and 130,000, because now, when there is an invasion by a foreign country, like at the western border, the government appears to hesitate to respond; there are not enough troops sent for patrol. Therefore, our soldiers exist only in numbers, but the real number of soldiers is likely to be insufficient, because of corruption, as it is not known where the real soldiers are.’

“Mr. Yim Sovann added that as for the police, he had been informed also that their number is 50,000.

“An official of the Ministry of Defense, who is a former KPNLF soldier of the [US supported] Khmer People’s National Liberation Front [until 1992] of Louk Ta [Grandfather] Son San, said that many soldiers of the divisions of the six military regions in Cambodia, as well as those in towns and provincial military outposts, exist only as numbers, but their salaries are taken by their commanders.

Note:

When one sees the many luxury class extremely expensive Landcruiser car with military license plates on the streets, such an outrageous assumption becomes undertstandable. I had to travel to many different countries in the couse of my life and work – in no other country I have seen luxury cars with military license plates.

When the country needs soldiers, some divisions with nominally nearly 10,000 soldiers have only around 300 to 400 soldiers, including drivers, and those who guard the land and the houses for their division chiefs.

“The same general, who is a former KPLF soldier, continued to say that whatever their affiliation – with the State of Cambodia, or with the former ANKI [Armée Nationale du Kampuchea Independent – National Army of Independent Kampuchea – the former military arm of FUNCINPEC] , or with the KPNLF, or the former followers of Gneral Sak Sutsakhan [who had separated himself from the KPNLF] – their high levels leaders have abandoned them, especially those soldiers who fought in the battlefields in Battambang, Pursat, Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Thom, and Siem Reap, they have been forgotten, and some of their land and housing had been grabbed by the powerful and by the rich.

“However, that former KPLF soldier said that as for the military commanders, specifically those who served the State of Cambodia [1989 to 1993], at present almost all still are in their positions, though most of them have fat potbellies. The official went on to say that the Ministry of National Defense lacked everything during this last period,: it lacks fuel allowance, and the salaries for the soldiers are small and often paid with delays, which contrasts with the salaries of the members of the National Assembly, saying that Ministry of Defense expenses are budgeted as US$267 million for one year.

“Although the Ministry of Defense faces a shortage of solders, there are always thousands of soldiers to protect the Prime Minister Hun Sen, and more than forty tanks which are not broken down, are always on alert for the security of the Prime Minister alone.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #244, 14-16.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 15 September 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1746, 14-15.9.2008

  • Former Parliamentary Candidate of the Sam Rainsy Party Reveals Insider Information [Mr. Chrea Chenda, who joined the Cambodian People’s Party said that the leaders of the Sam Rainsy Party commit corruption]
  • Siam [Thailand] Invades the Trap Mountain and Warns Khmer Soldiers to Retreat [Preah Vihear area – no precise information given whether it relates to the area the Cambodian side has not claimed in the document for the World Heritage listing, or to other areas]
  • More Than 2,000 Workers of the King Maker Shoe Factory Ask Their Manager to Obey Working Condition Regulations [the factory is located in a special economic zone in Svay Rieng]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #244, 14-16.9.2008

  • The Ministry of Defense Calls for the Recruitment of Soldiers
  • Son Chhay [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Plans to Take Father of Tim Sakhan to Visit His Son Directly in Vietnam


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6450, 15.9.2008

  • Hundreds of People Collect Around 40,000 Liters of Fuel Leaking into Rice Fields from Overturned Fuel Tanker Truck [Kompong Trach, Kampot]
  • Price of Fuel Drops from More Than US$140 to US$97 per Barrel [1 barrel corresponds to 117.35 liters, and it drops US$0.37 per liter], but in Cambodia It Drops Only Riel 400 [approx. US$0.10] per Liter


Mate Neak, Vol.1, #5, 15-21.9.2008

  • Citizens from Four Districts of Kandal Criticize the Arrangements and Technique Putting Culverts [some houses are connected, some are not – Kien Svay]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3565, 15.9.2008

  • The Cambodian People’s Party Decides to Publish List of Ministers on 22 September; Funcinpec Asks for 100 Positions as Government Advisors
  • The Government’s Patience Motivates Siam [Thailand] to Look Down and Invade Cambodia More Strongly


Rasmei Angkor, Vol.11, #1359, 15.9.2008

  • The Royal Government of Cambodia Prepares Complaints to the International Court of Justice after Staying Patient for Two Months with Siam Invading [Prime Minister Hun Sen decided that officials of the government prepare different relevant documents to send complaints again to the UN Security Council and even to the International Court of Justice]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4694, 14-15.9.2008

  • Japan Tries to Encourage Its Investors to Come to Cambodia
  • Clinton Foundation Announces to Seek Donations to Help to Preserve Forest


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3408, 14-15.9.2008

  • The King Asks the Sam Rainsy Party to Look into the Law [which states that the first session of the National Assembly has to be held within sixty days after the elections, and all parliamentarians elected have to attend the session summoned by the King]

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – how the whole Khmer press withholds the final, decisive document from the public, before the Preah Vihear Temple was listed as a World Heritag Site.

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Saturday, 13.9.2008: Siam Is More Impudent – Cambodian Patience Is Running Out

Posted on 14 September 2008. Filed under: Week 577 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 577

“Phnom Penh: Prime Minister Hun Sen affirmed his position towards Siam [Thailand] that the incursion by Siamese troops makes the patience of Cambodia running out. He said so during a regular session of the Council of Ministers yesterday morning on 12 September 2008.

“Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the government spokesperson, said that during the session, Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen presented his firm position to the members of the Royal Government, to protect the territorial integrity against the intrusion by foreign troops.

“Mr. Khieu Kanharith continued that Samdech Hun Sen said during the session that Cambodian patience becomes thinner and thinner after Siamese Troops become more impudent by invading very old temples along the border. Legal choices are to send a complaint to the Security Council of the United Nations, and a suit at the International Court of Justice in The Hague might happen in the meantime as two responses by Cambodia, while the Siamese side seems to consider Cambodia to be a very cowardly country.

“Samdech stated that Cambodia is tired of wars, but this does not mean that Cambodia is afraid of wars. We are tired of civil war, but we are brave to fight any foreign country that has the ambition to violate our territorial integrity.

“That does not mean that Cambodia wants war, but Cambodia does not accept an incursion not respecting the law, and not respecting the sovereignty of a country.

“Mr. Chan Saveth, an investigating official of a civil society organization, said, ‘We support the speech by Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen, representing a clear position about Cambodia’s patience. Cambodia has a precisely defined territorial integrity, has laws, and exists on the world map, therefore, it will not let any country with such an ambition to swallow the country.’

“Mr. Chan Saveth expressed his view that this support is not to encourage the government to start a war, but to find ways to send a complaint to the United Nations. He said, ‘I want to affirm again that if the position of the government is as clear as mentioned above, the citizens and the civil society organizations will provide 100% support, but the government has to review its complaint to the UN Security Council it had previously lodged and then suspended. If the government revokes the suspension, it is a sign of not accepting the impudence of the Siamese troops invading along the Cambodian border.

“Mr. Chan Saveth added that Cambodia has no history of invading other countries. Therefore, what Prime Minister Hun Sen said is acceptable, because our patience is limited.

“Mr. Un Phalla, a law student of the Royal University of Law and Economics, said, ‘I support Prime Minister Hun Sen’s speech, something which has never been heard since Siamese troops invaded along the border.’

“Mr. Un Phalla continued, ‘We are hurt, as Khmer students, when hearing that Siamese troops increase their invasion along the border and use many tricks in negotiations. Therefore, my support is not to encourage Samdech to start a war, but to refer to the legal basis as our priority, by sending a complaint to the United Nations as soon as possible.’

“Prince Sisowath Thomico said that if talking about territorial integrity, every Khmer citizen does not want to see an incursion by foreign countries. Prince Thomico added ‘Regarding Prime Minister Hun Sen’s speech, it is now not only me who is supporting it and who is happy, but also many citizens, when they hear such courage of a leader who represent the will to protect the territorial integrity.’

“Prince Thomico said also that the government has to put all territorial issues on the table to be solved together, and all political parties should not show different attitudes toward this problem. Internal opposition [among parties] is one thing, but territorial issues are of nationl concern.

“The head of the government showed also his position on the plan of the opposition parties not to attend the inaugural session [of the National Assembly], saying that this is their problem – and the government does not care about it, because it is better for the whole nation to think about the border issue. The citizens have already voted to give their power to their representatives [the elected members of the National Assembly], so if they do not want the seats they won, the seats should be given to others who can work. Now, the government is caring about the border issue, because the citizens expect the new term government to solve the issue.

“Mr. Khieu Kanharith said that Samdech Hun Sen said during a council of ministers’ session that concerning the Cambodian and Thai border disputes, we are strengthening further legal documents to be sent to the International Court of Justice and to the Security Council of the United Nations about the incursion by Siamese black clad soldiers [of the Thai special Border Protection Unit] at Khmer temples.

“Samdech also said regarding the confrontation, ‘We just avoid armed fighting, as it is better to fight with legal methods. Thai black-clad soldiers invaded Cambodian territory at the Keo Sekha Kirisvarak pagoda, which is 300 meters away from the Preah Vihear Temple, on 11 July 2008, after this temple was listed as a world heritage site on 7 July 2008. Then, Siamese troops have tried to control several other temples of Cambodia along the border in Oddar Meanchey.’

“Samdech Hun Sen added that ‘in relation to the situation before, we understood the Thai government related to the incursion, which was firstly caused by the Thai opposition party. So far, we are patient at the highest level, but our patience was shaken again and again by the Siamese troops, making our patience to run out.’ Samdech emphasized that this issue cannot be solved without going to the International Court of Justice.

The Situation at the Ta Krabei Temple

“The situation at the Ta Krabei Temple is somewhat better, after the Siamese troops withdrew from the temple, about 300 meters from the Cambodian border.

“Mr. Neak Vong, the commander of Brigade 42, reported to Kampuchea Thmey that after tense discussions, the Siamese troops agreed to withdraw from the Ta Krabei Temple at 2:30 p.m. of 11 September 2008. He went on to say that 170 Siamese soldiers withdrew from the Khmer temple and took positions in their territory, about 300 meters from the border. As for the Cambodian troops, their numbers are now balanced. So the situation at the Ta Krabei Temple starts to be better, but the troops are suffering from very cold weather, because there is rain every day.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1745, 13.9.2008

Note:

Please have a look at the Editorial of 14.9.2008: you may click with the mouse cursor here; it relates in terms of the content,

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 13 September 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1745, 13.9.2008

  • Siam Is More Impudent – Cambodian Patience Is Running Out
  • Thailand Postpones Session of Parliament, as Samak Is Rejected [by coalition parties to take position of prime minister again]
  • [Norodom Ranariddh Party secretary general] You Hokry Sues Serey Kosal [a member of Funcinpec] for Riel 100 Million [approx. US$25,000, accusing him to have defamed him in a broadcast over Sambok Khmum Radio in the Voice of the Monarchy Program on 30 May 2008]; Serey Kosal Warned He Will Sue Back for Riel 1 Billion [approx. US$250,000] Compensation [over illegal acts during the elections and election campaign]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #243, 13.9.2008

  • Secretary General of the National Assembly [Mr. Leng Penglong] Asks [Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior] Sar Kheng to Take Action [to investigate Prime Minister Hun Sen’s nephew] Hun To over Beating the Parliamentarian Nuon Vuthy [from the Sam Rainsy Party]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6449, 13.9.2008

  • When Patience Runs Out, There Might Be a Complaint Sent to the International Court of Justice, and If if It Is More Serious, a Complaint Will Be Sent to the Security Council [of the United Nations – according to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s speech regarding border disputes with Thailand]
  • The United States Provides US$24 Million for Economic Growth [actually, this grant aid of US$24 million is clearly designated for the health sector – this money for health projects operated by NGOs will be monitored by the Cambodian government]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3564, 13-14.9.2008

  • Democracy Crisis and Irregularities during the [fourth term] Elections Will Be Revealed in Front of US Assistant Secretary of State [who will arrive in Cambodia next week]
  • The Increase in the Number of Members of Ministries Will Threaten the Cambodian Economy [the ranking members of ministries will increase to nearly 400, which means the fourth term government will have to cover the expenses for these high ranking officials]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4693, 13.9.2008

  • This Week the Chinese Owners of Three Factories Ran Away [after bankruptcy – Phnom Penh]
  • Land Prices on the Cambodian Market Fell 5% to 10% [according to the Real Estates Accessing Association of Cambodia, because of many reasons – not only the elections, but also influenced by the international economic crisis, border disputes, and reforms in the government]

Click here to have a look at the last editorial: Numbers – how to evaluate them: which realities do they really represent?

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Thursday, 21.8.2008: Hun Sen Government Is Weak, It Conducts Diplomatic Politics by Kneeling Down to Beg Siam to Withdraw Invading Troops from Cambodia

Posted on 22 August 2008. Filed under: Week 574 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 574


Apologies: The link to the Joint Communique and the attached map – see further down – had been broken. It is now fixed. Thanks to the alert from a reader.

“To clarify one’s position by kneeling down under the pressure of the diplomatic politics by Siam [Thailand] or to say that the Hun Sen government is defeated by the Siamese [Thai] diplomatic warfare regarding the incursion by Siamese troops to control the Preah Vihear Temple and the Ta Moan Temple regions – these are two prominent positions to describe the representatives of the Hun Sen government. Hor Namhong, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Hun Sen government, promised Siam to revoke Cambodia’s complaint to the UN Security Council about the incursion by Siam into Cambodia, and the Hun Sen government also agreed to beg Siam, by withdrawing its troops unilaterally from the Preah Vihear Temple region, so that Siam also withdraws its troops from Khmer territory.

The press in Cambodia – the Khmer press and the international press alike – have not published (as far as we know – if we are wrong, please inform us) the extremely important Joint Communique, signed by the Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in Charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers of Royal Government of Cambodia, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, and the Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO, on 18 June 2008. This was the last joint submission to the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, which led to the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site. The full document and the appended map [‘the map prepared by the Cambodian authorities and herewith attached’ to the Joint Communique] is here; (it is a big file of 1.3 MB). To read the Joint Communique and to see the attached map, you need to have the free Adobe Reader or a comparable software installed – you can download the Adobe Reader here.

We strongly recommend to have a look, especially also at the map with a tiny stretch of land in red, claimed as the perimeter of the Preah Vihear Temple.

This document is available internationally, it has been published various time in the Thai media. The Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs signed this document, relating to national sovereignty and territory integrity, without asking the Thai parliament for a decision, led to a verdict by the Thai Constitutional Court, accusing him of overstepping is responsibilities, and thus violating the Thai constitution – so he had to resign.

This document – co-signed in the name of the Kingdom of Cambodia – is also the basis for much public opinion in Thailand about the Cambodian government. It is surprising – and important to note – that this document of high international value, is not, or not easily, available to the Khmer public.

It seems that many arguments in the Khmer press are either not aware of this document, or avoid to see it, because of its bewildering implications. To analyze the content of the document might lead to some different conclusions and arguments, different from what is nowadays in the press. We provide today some references to the Joint Communique and invite our readers to appraise the situation, comparing and relating it to the Joint Communique and the new Cambodian map.

We would, of course, be happy to see some such reactions in the Comments you may write – or in e-mail to myself, the editor of the Mirror, at mirror@gmx.org

“This information was made known after a two-day-meeting on 18 and 19 August 2008, and especially, after a high ranking delegation of the government of Cambodia, led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hor Namhong, accompanied by senior representatives of the Minister of Interior of Cambodia, also came to visit the Siamese King at his palace in Hua Hin.

“Explaining that this is to express sympathy and friendship among good neighbors, between Cambodia and Thailand, and to avoid confrontation between Siamese troops invading and Khmer troops protecting its territory, Hor Namhong and the Siamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Tej Bunnang reported the same content about the results of these negotiations. Hor Namhong said that Cambodia agreed to withdraw a complaint against Siam’s incursion into the Preah Vihear Temple region to the UN Security Council; representatives of the Hun Sen government consider this to be a concession towards Siam so that they agree to withdraw also their troops from Cambodia.

“Moreover, Hor Namhong said also that in response to an order by Hun Sen, Cambodia agreed, on its side, to please Siam by promising to recall the Khmer troops from the Preah Vihear Temple region of Cambodia.

“Hor Namhong said, ‘We will withdraw all troops from the Contested Regions. We will withdraw also the complaint to the UN Security Council.’

“Cambodia filed a complaint to the UN Security Council to ask for intervention, asking to convene an urgent meeting, to solve the confrontation between Cambodian and Siamese troops, after Siam had invaded Khmer territory on 15 July 2008. However, the complaint of Cambodia to the UN Security Council was suspended by a phone call from the Siamese Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej on 24 July 2008 to Mr. Hun Sen, requesting him to suspend this complaint (it seems to be a very interesting books), one day before the UN Security Council would have discussed it.

The Khmer press speaks, in general, in general terms, of the invasion into Khmer territory, without considering the declarations of the Cambodian representatives, especially also the new map presented by Cambodia – not bu Thailand! – with the Joint Communique, which says:

“1. The Kingdom of Thailand supports the inscription… of the Temple of Preah Vihear on the World Heritage List proposed by the Kingdom of Cambodia, the perimeter of which is identified as N. 1 in the map prepared by the Cambodian authorities and herewith attached…

2….the Kingdom of Cambodia accepts that the Temple of Preah Vihear be nominated for inscription on the World Heritage List without at this stage a buffer zone on the northern and western areas of the Temple.”

On 15 July 2008, Thai troops moved into the “northern and western areas of the Temple” which were not claimed by Cambodia “at this stage” as part of the territory of the perimeter of the Preah Vihear Temple, listed as a World Heritage Site.

“Mr. Hor Namhong said also, ‘We will withdraw the troops unilaterally form the disputed regions to express the good will of Cambodia, to avoid a confrontation that might lead to armed conflict.’

“What is seen is that Siam has a landslide victory in its diplomatic warfare, hiding its military incursion into Cambodia, when the head diplomat Hor Namhong, on Hun Sen’s order, agreed to do everything by kneeling down to totally beg Siam – like through the promise to revoke the complaint against Siam to the UN Security Council, and to announce to withdraw the Khmer troops from Khmer territory first, so that Siam agrees to withdraw its invading troops also.

What is called here “Khmer territory” seems to be part of the area contested between both countries – but more specifically in this case – an area outside of the perimeter claimed by Cambodia for the listing by the World Heritage Committee – see the note above.

“Observers and experts officials said that the Hun Sen government made Cambodia to be a looser, because that territory belongs to Cambodia, as stated in the verdict of the International Court of Justice in The Hague in 1962. If Cambodia dares to order its troops back to the region again, Siam will take the opportunity to use this as a reason to order its troops to control Khmer territory. It is not believed that there will be proper and just solutions in the meetings attended by foreign affairs ministers, interior high ranking officials, and the Cambodia’s Border Committee, to guarantee that Siam will give up its invading ambition ordering its troops to control Cambodian territory.

“Getting out from the Khmer-Siamese foreign affairs ministerial meeting on 18 August 2008 in Hua Hin, and then visiting the Siamese King, Hor Namhong said that the Khmer and the Siamese sides agreed to leave only ten soldiers at the Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Pagoda, and twenty soldiers close to the pagoda, in order to lessen the confrontation by both sides.

The Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Pagoda lies in the ‘buffer zone on the… western areas of the Temple’ which was ‘at this stage’ not claimed by the Cambodian negotiators as part of defining the perimeter of the Preah Vihear Temple.

“Furthermore, the head of the Khmer diplomats Hor Namhong said that, as a concession which is quick like an arrow, aiming to defuse the confrontation between the troops of both sides, that the government of Cambodia agreed to withdraw all its troops from the border, and will turn to negotiate peacefully through meetings between the border commissions of both countries.

“In the meantime, regarding about the movement of troops by Siam into the Ta Moan Temple on Khmer territory in the western Dang Rek Mountain region, it was kept as a separate issue. The Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs Tej Bunnang said that it was not on the agenda to discuss the Ta Moan Temple issue, and both sides agreed to deal with it next time.

“This shows that it is a strategic trick of Siam in the diplomatic field to create new problems, while Cambodia is weak in this field, as well as in the field to defend the nation.

“Both sides claim that the solution for the disputes at the Preah Vihear Temple is to plan to look for border markers, to clearly mark the border lines. To say so is another political trick of Siam, since, in general, they know that a verdict in the International Court of Justice in The Hague on 15 June 1962 clearly stated, by basing its verdict on the French and Siam treaties of 1904 to 1907, signed by both sides about the Khmer and Siam borders lines, which was marked in an official map in 1908.

The court, in a very lengthy document publishing its verdict, stated that the court

‘…by nine votes to three, finds that the Temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory
under the sovereignty of Cambodia.’

The text of the verdict clarifies things related to the temple; it does not clarify the border questions in the region. That is why both countries agreed that the next step necessary now is to work on the border demarcation.

As a related question, it would be interesting to know how the different border clarifications – with Laos, with Vietnam, and with Thailand – which have been already accomplished something, or which need still to continue to work, relate to Article 2 of the Cambodian Constitution:

‘The territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Cambodia, shall absolutely not to be violated within its borders as defined in the 1/100,000 scale map made between the year 1933-1953 and internationally recognized between the years 1963 – 1969.’

This statement seems to imply that all border questions which all neighbors are already solved – otherwise, how could there be finite, clear, detailed numbers?] – but many sections of the borderline with neighboring countries are not yet solved..

“Just having seen that the Hun Sen government agreed to kneel down to beg Siam with promises that Cambodia will withdraw its troops, even from the Preah Vihear Temple of Cambodia, to please Siam so that they withdraw their troops from the areas where they invaded Cambodia, allows everyone to knows that the Hun Sen government is very weak diplomacy, as well as militarily to defend its territorial integrity. How can Khmers then hope that Cambodia, ruled by the Hun Sen government of the Cambodian People’s Party, will not lose Cambodian territory, because they serve the interests of themselves or of factions among the leaders of Siam and of the Hun Sen government?” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #226, 21.8.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 21 August 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1725, 21.8.2008

  • Kuwait Asks to Establish Its Embassy in Cambodia and Kuwait Will Come to Invest in Cambodia
  • Thai Opposition Group Asks Britain to Extradite Mr. Thaksin for Trial


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #226, 21.8.2008

    Hun Sen Government Is Weak, It Conducts Diplomatic Politics by Kneeling Down to Beg Siam to Withdraw Invading Troops from Cambodia


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #78, 21.8.2008

  • Price of Gasoline Is Reduced [by Riel 400 to 500, approx. US$0.10] after the Government Had Asked for Reductions
  • US Ambassador to Cambodia [Joseph A. Mussomeli] Will Hold His Final Press Conference on Monday 25 August 2008 [his mandate ends]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6429, 21.8.2008

  • Latest Information from Preah Vihear Temple Area: Number of Delegations, Donors, and Tourists Declines


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3544, 21.8.2008

  • Sam Rainsy: I Do Not Trust the Constitutional Council; They Wants to Finish the Cases Whenever They Want
  • Yim Sovann [Sam Rainsy Party official]: The Price of Fuel on the Cambodian Market Is Still High because There Are Not Many Companies Competing with Each Other


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4673, 21.8.2008

  • [Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Hor Namhong Compares the Negotiations [over the Preah Vihear Temple] to a Steam Roller [that it is slow but still moving]
  • The European Community Puts a High Value on Elections and Vows to Continue to Help Cambodia

  • [South] Korea Asks Cambodia to Support Investments in Mineral Resources and Energy in Cambodia
  • Many Houses of Members of the Women’s Coalition for Peace and Development Were Destroyed by a Group of Soldiers [15 August – over land disputes – Srae Ambel, Koh Kong]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3390, 21.8.2008

  • Eng Chhay Eang Resigns as Secretary-General of the Sam Rainsy Party, Causing Political Doubts
  • Ministry of Agriculture Prepares to Allow Import of Pike Fish [from Vietnam – making officials in the provinces at the border unhappy, as they have been well off from pike fish smuggling]

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – apprehension while waiting for the results of challenging alleged election fraud, the final official election results, and the forming of a new government

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Saturday, 2.8.2008: An Open Letter from Professors in the Field of the Studies about Southeast Asia Expressed Concerns about the Preah Vihear Temple

Posted on 3 August 2008. Filed under: Week 571 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 571

“On 1 August 2008, Rasmei Kampuchea received an open letter signed by professors who are involved in studies and research about Southeast Asia, expressing concern about the Preah Vihear Temple. Nearly fifty professors signed it, the majority of them are Thai, teaching at well-known universities in the world, such as Thammasat University, Thailand, University of Oxford, UK, University of California, Los Angeles, USA, University of Toronto, Canada, National University of Singapore, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA, Cornell University, USA, Washington University [not clear, as there are several ones: University of Washington, George Washington University, Washington University in St. Louis, Washington State University – all USA], University of London, UK, Khon Kaen University, Thailand, Ohio University, USA, Mahidol University, Thailand, Rangsit University, Thailand, Berkeley, University of California, USA, Hamilton University [?], Chiang Mai University, Thailand, Silpakorn University (e-Learning), Thailand, University of Malaya, Malaysia, Royal Academy of Cambodia, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA, and the Oxfordshire University, UK.

“Among the signatures is also the signature of Mr. Chhang Song, former Minister of Information of Cambodia, a retiring member of the Senate.

“This letter says:

“To professors, parents, the press, students, Thais and Cambodians

“The recent border dispute regarding the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site causes strong continuing protests from some organizations and people in Thailand, which led to a confrontative situation between people of both countries.

“As professors involved in studies on Southeast Asia, we want to confirm that the source of this border dispute relates to the historical and cultural heritages of Thailand and of Cambodia. Truth can be found, if explanations of historical evidence are made by following the facts, and this should not be done to serve any political goals.

“According to this, we would like to suggest the following:

  1. “As for the Preah Vihear Temple, we absolutely support the verdict of the International Court of Justice in The Hague in the Netherlands of 15 May 1962, which confirmed that ‘the Temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia.’
  2. “We support and we publish intense discussions about related problems, and the provision of information should not be used to cause discrimination or to create enemies between the countries on both sides of the border, which might lead to war.
  3. “We acknowledge that also other countries in the region have the common cultures and common histories. These links should be used as the basis for international cooperation, to protect the honor of peoples, and for the union between country and country, especially for addressing universal problems happening similarly to all countries in the region.
  4. “We have advised that action should be taken to solve this dispute through coordination and mutual commitment. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations should take up this idea in order to reach a common goal.

“We would like to urge professors, parents, the press, students, and the Cambodian and Thai people to call for a peaceful solution of this dispute, by upholding the respect for the territory of all countries in Southeast Asia as the basis.”

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4657, 2.8.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 1 August 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1709, 2.7.2008

  • The King [Norodom Sihamoni] and [Father King] Samdech Euv and [former Queen] Samdech Mae Went to Visit China [to attend the Olympic Games and to have medical checkups – 1 August 2008]
  • [Former Khmer Rouge minister of foreign affairs] Ieng Sary [age 82] Was Sent to Hospital [after blood was discovered in his urine, 1 August 2008], and [former chief of the Tuol Sleng prison] Duch Will Be Sentenced in September [according to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia spokesperson Mr. Reach Sambath]
  • H.E. Bun Rany Hun Sen Prayed for the ancestral spirits to defend Preah Vihear at the Preah Vihear Temple [on 1 August 2008]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #213, 2.8.2008

  • A Government Can Be Dictatorial, but a National Assembly Cannot Become a Dictatorial National Assembly [said opposition party president Sam Rainsy on 1 August 2008]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #63, 2.8.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen: If the Sam Rainsy Party Does Not Attend the [inaugural] Meeting of Parliament [on 24 September 2008], [the 26] Seats [of the Sam Rainsy Party] Will Be Distributed to Other Parties [the Prime Minster warned the Sam Rainsy Party not to use Article 76 of the Constitution which states that the Assembly consists of at least 120 members, for the new National Assembly to start its process]
  • Garment Products of Cambodia Will Be Difficult to Export [because orders for buying decline, capital necessary for production increases, and there is strong competition with other countries such as Vietnam, China, India, and Bangladesh – according to Ms. Kaing Monika, official in charge of the administration of external affairs of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia]
  • The Number of [Foreign] Tourists Still Continues to Rise [although Cambodia is having a dispute with Thailand – according to Mr. Kong Sophearak, head of the Department of Statistics and Tourist Information of the Ministry of Tourism; in the first six months of 2008, there were 1,098,236 tourists, which is a 12.6% increase compared with the same period of 2007, with only 975,349 tourists]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6413, 2-3.8.2008

  • The US Embassy Assessed that the Election in Cambodia Was Conducted Better than Previous Elections [although there were irregularities]
  • More Than 79,000 Student Candidates Will Take the High School Diploma Examinations Countrywide This Year [on 4 August 2008]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3528, 2-3.8.2008

  • Siam [Thailand] Still Continues to Deploy Troops along the Preah Vihear Temple Region Borders, and Two Cannons Still Point at the Preah Vihear Temple
  • After the Election, Land Disputes Occur Again and Citizens Wait for Hun Sen to Solve Them

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4657, 2.8.2008

  • An Open Letter from Professors in the Field of the Studies about Southeast Asia Expressed Concerns about the Preah Vihear Temple
  • The Government Spends Nearly US$30 per Student Who Takes the High School Diploma Examination [according to Mr. Chreng Limsry, Directorate of Secondary Education; the government spent approximately Riel 9,000 million (approx. US$2,250,000) in total]
  • The Ministry of Water Resource Has an Irrigation System That Can Deliver Water Directly [without using pumps – using the force of gravity] to More Than 40% of the 2.3 Million Hectares Cultivated [according to Mr. Chan Yutha, chief of cabinet of the Ministry of Water Resource and Meteorology]

Click here to have a look at the last Mirror editorial – where we provided detailed information about the 2003 election results, to compare them with the election results of 2008, as they become available.

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Thursday, 3.7.2008: Cambodian Official Asks Thai Politicians and Historians Not to Twist the Facts

Posted on 4 July 2008. Filed under: Week 567 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 567

“Phnom Penh: A Cambodian official urged Thai politicians and historians not to twist the facts about the history of the Preah Vihear Temple, which is being proposed to be officially listed as a World Heritage Site.

“In an interview with a Thai reporter from the Public Broadcasting Service TV [PBS] on the morning of 2 July 2008, Mr. Ho Vandy, the president of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, said that the Thai government must listen to the majority voices, but not to minority voices opposed to the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site; and Thai politicians and historians must accept the truth, but not to twist the history, because it is important to maintain the relations and the cooperation between both countries.

“He added, ‘If Thai politicians and historians do not accept the facts, it will break the relations between both countries. When talking honestly with one another and acknowledging the facts of history, being a good neighbors and having good human relations will be of benefit to everything – both in tourism and in the economy of the two countries.’ He continued, ‘If Thailand has a good, human mind by accepting the facts, both countries and people will be peaceful.’

“He went on to say, ‘If Thailand still tries to hide the real history and to twist it, there will be endless difficulties and disagreements for the next generation.’

“The Preah Vihear Temple was legally declared by the International Court of Justice in The Hague to be under the sovereignty of Cambodia on 15 June 1962, by ordering Thailand to deliver the Preah Vihear Temple to Cambodia, to withdraw its troops and people from the temple, and to give back to Cambodia all ancient artifacts taken from the temple.

“Mr. Ho Vandy asserted that the Preah Vihear Temple was already identified by the International Court of Justice in The Hague as belonging to Cambodia, based on its history. If Thailand helps to promote the temple to be listed as a World Heritage Site, there will be much benefit for both countries in developing tourism, because when the temple is listed, people around the world will be interested in visiting this temple, and they will spend money for Cambodians and for Thais living in the bordering provinces near Preah Vihear.

“Dr. Ros Chantraboth, a historian and vice-president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said that in Siem [Thailand], in text books from Grade 1 to Grade 9, there are only two sentences which speak about Cambodia, but those books speak a lot about the history and other things of Laos, of Burma, of Vietnam, and of Malaysia. He continued, ‘Siem seems to pretend that there was no presence of Cambodia in Indochina.’

“He added that this misunderstanding is because of Siem articles writing that the Preah Vihear Temple belongs to its country and it is because of the lack of Siam publication about the reality of the history, and Siamese researchers always think that “this temple belongs to Siem.”

“He went on to say that in Samut Prakan Province, southeast of Bangkok, the Siem government built a park named ‘Thai ancient monuments’ or ‘Muang Boran Thai’ where all temples existing in Thailand are built in copies, including the Preah Vihear Temple, for Siamese and for researchers [and tourists] to visit.

[Actually, doing some Internet research in Thai and in English, only the term ‘เมืองโบราณ – Muang Boran’ – could be seen an all sites I found (I may have missed some, though); none uses the term ‘เมืองโบราณไทย’ – ‘Thai Ancient City.’ This Ancient City is often considered to be the world’s biggest outdoor museum, covering about 80 hectares/320 acres of land in a shape similar to the country of Thailand, with more than 100 original size or scaled down models of historical monuments. It was designed and funded my the private funds of a rich Thai businessman, Lek Viriyapan (1914 – 2000). Before the Ancient City could be built, its founder and his research team traveled to all buildings to be included, and for many years these studies were published in the Muang Boran Journal. The park includes also a replica of the Preah Vihear temple, and the journal has photos, several of them showing the Cambodian flag, and the inscription over the entrance in big Khmer letters: ‘ប្រាសាទ​ព្រះវិហារ’ [Prasat Preah Vihear] and below, in smaller letters in English, ‘Preah Vihear Temple’ – and three Cambodian flags are clearly seen on the picture of the stairs leading up to the temple – there is no doubt that the Ancient City in clear pictures describes Preah Vihear as under Cambodian authority. The temple of Phimai in the province of Nakhon Ratchasima is another example of Khmer culture (and in some of the sites visited also described as such). The ‘Ancient City’ is in no way leaving any doubt that this is Cambodian culture and territory, but, like Phimai, there are many other historical sites in present Thailand, showing the former extension of Khmer culture. – Editor]

“Dr. Ros Chantraboth asserted, ‘The Ancient City was constructed in 1972, ten years after Siem lost the hearing at the International Court of Justice in The Hague that legally established that the Preah Vihear Temple was to be under Khmer sovereignty. He added, ‘In reality, Siem has never used this to explain it to its people.’

“He recalled that the International Court of Justice in The Hague decided to deliver the sovereignty of the Preah Vihear Temple to Cambodia, based on 1904 and 1907 maps that were drawn by France for Cambodia at that time, and those maps were not contested by the Thai government at that period. The 1962 verdict gave ten years to Siem to appeal, in case it found new evidence proving that the Preah Vihear Temple belongs to Thailand, but when the deadline was over on 15 June 1972, Thailand did not appeal against the verdict until today.

“According to Article 10 of the condition of the World Heritage Committee, world heritage listings only include cultural heritage, they do not include borders of countries; and both countries have still to negotiate about the [unsolved] border issues.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4631, 3.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 3 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1683, 3.7.2008

  • [Thai Prime Minister] Mr. Samak Talked with Samdech Hun Sen More than Half an Hour via Telephone about the Preah Vihear Temple Issue [according to Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the Minister of Information and the government spokesperson, and he said that Mr. Samak asked Prime Minister Hun Sen to calm the Cambodian people]
  • The Royal Government [of Cambodia] Welcomes the Creation of an Investment Bank [by Tong Yang Investment] to Attract Capital from South Korea
  • Committee for Free and Fair Elections [COMFREL]: Security in the Election Campaign Is Better than in 2003


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #190, 3.7.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party deputy secretary-general] Ms. Mu Sochua Appealed to the Prime Minister’s Wife to Check Again the Dispute [that led to the destruction of houses and to the eviction of people from their land in Chhouk District, Kampot] between People and Military Officials


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #39, 3.7.2008

  • ILO: Working Conditions at Garment Factories Are Still Good


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6387, 3.7.2008

  • Dr. Keo Iev, Director of Oral Cleansing Water Company [producing for the Cambodian Red Cross], Was Shot by Robbers and a Gold Box Was Taken, when He Returned from the Olympic Market [he is in a very serious condition, because the bullet went into his left eye and broke through his head – 2 July 2008]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3502, 3.7.2008

  • Vietnamese Authorities Released Tim Sakhan Silently [on 30 June 2008, who had been defrocked on accusation of having perpetrated an offense against the Buddhist law, because he is accused to have destroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia, who was jailed in Vietnam], but They Have Not Sent Him Back to Cambodia [and when traveling during one month, he has to be accompanied by the Vietnamese authorities]
  • Hearing Verdict of Ieng Sary’s Appeal, where He Requested to Be Out of Detention, Will Be Announced by the ECCC on 3 July 2008


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4631, 3.7.2008

  • Cambodian Official Asks Thai Politicians and Historians Not to Twist the Facts
  • The National Cultural and Social Moral Center Plans to March [supporting the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple, with about 3,000 participants] to the Thai Embassy
  • The Committee for Free and Fair Elections – COMFREL – Deploys Nearly 100,000 Election Observers to the Twenty Four Cities and Provinces
  • Agreement Protecting Cambodian-Japanese Investors Will Be Put in Practice in Late July
  • Prohibition of Marriages to Foreign Countries Will Be Lifted Soon [according to an official of the Ministry of Interior]
  • Seventy Cambodian Youth Delegates Will Visit Japan Next Week [as part of the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESEYS)]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3349, 3.7.2008

  • Many Challenges for the Election Result because of Low Education and Illiteracy

Have a look at the last editorial – Preah Vihear still in the headlines – more information about Thailand’s and Cambodia’s documents.

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Wednesday, 25.6.2008: The Cambodian Watchdog Council Said that the New Map Will Create a Loss of Land at the Area 3 around the Preah Vihear Temple

Posted on 25 June 2008. Filed under: Week 566 | Tags: , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 566

“Mr. Ear Chana released, on behalf of the secretary-general of the Cambodian Watchdog Council, on 23 June 2008, a statement that there is a loss of land at Area 3 of the Preah Vihear Temple. This is the statement:

“According to the joint statement of 18 June 2008, signed by the Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Sok An, and by Thai Foreign Minister Mr. Noppadon Pattama, and Mrs. Françoise Rivière, UNESCO Deputy Director for Culture, about the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site, and a new map that the Cambodian government sent to UNESCO, we found a part of Cambodian territory at the west and the north of the temple (or Area 3) is lost.

“The Cambodian government seems to fall into a trap of Thailand by listing only the body of the Preah Vihear Temple and the areas which extend 30 meters from the temple, but do not include the Area 3 which should also have been listed.

“According to our own experience from visits with students from different universities in Phnom Penh in 2001 and 2004, we found that the Cambodian government is creating a loss of land, by agreeing to create a new map, especially as it does not include Area 3 as Cambodian territory. Obviously, based on two visits, we found that the loss of land in Area 3 is an obstacle for tourists to climb up to the Preah Vihear Temple from Cambodia, because the areas at the east and the south are extremely steep to climb up and go down.

“According to the Deputy Director of the Cambodian Border Committee, it shows that The Hague International Court of Justice in 1962 used a 1:2000 scale map for the Preah Vihear Temple, and that map is being kept at the court. In addition, the French-Siem [Thai] Treaties in 1904 and 1907 show clearly the land border and sea border between Cambodia and Thailand, especially they show that the Area 3 definitely belongs to Cambodia, which contradicts some Thai positions which say that the border at the Preah Vihear Temple is at the steps to the temples.

“We agree with UNESCO, working to maintain cultural heritage, but we cannot give up the Hague verdict of 1962 about the Preah Vihear Temple and its area, based on the 1904 and 1907 French-Siem Treaties, especially the listing of land in Area 3 – otherwise Cambodia will lose this land to Thailand.

”We found that Thailand never dared to invade territories of Malaysia or Burma, because the governments of both countries are strongly committed to protect their territories. Only the territory of Cambodia has repeatedly been invaded by Thailand.. Moreover, Thailand never dared to protest officially on the international level; it just tries to make trouble for Cambodia. This shows that Thailand intends to invade Khmer territory and to block the Cambodian economic breath of tourism, absorbed by the Preah Vihear Temple.

“We would like to give the recommendation to the Cambodian government, that if the government is still intent to list the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site, being an independent nation with patriotism, the government has to:

Remove the new map and use a map from The Hague for the proposal of the listing of the temple.

List the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site unilaterally.

“By the evening of 24 June 2008, the border crossing at the Preah Vihear Temple is still closed, while there are still about 10 Siamese [Thai] demonstrators far from the temple. According to news sources, this closure was ordered by the Khmer Ministry of Interior. This situation might last longer, if there are still demonstrations from Thai nationals. As for the Thai side, it is reported they agree with the closure of the border crossing in front of the Preah Vihear Temple.

“The commercial activities at the temple, both by Khmer and by Thai vendors, are reported to be closed down temporarily. However, generally we found that for the Thai side, both sales and other services lost much more than on the Khmer side. Nevertheless, the Khmer side worries about more than 100 families living on the Preah Vihear mountain who depend on business and on selling things on this mountain. People who are members of the soldiers’ and the police’s families ask for assistance from the authorities and the government. There is still nobody who provides assistance to those people since the closure, besides presents brought by journalists for the forces guarding the Preah Vihear Temple since late last week.

“Local observers find that the statement of Cambodian Watchdog Council is one thing, but what is more important is that the Cambodian Watchdog Council should try to seek additional assistance for the families of the soldiers and of the police who are facing difficulties. However, they noticed that the Cambodian Watchdog Council seems not to pay attention to the difficulties of the temple’s guards. On the contrary, they benefit from the difficulties of the soldiers’ and the police’s families.

“The listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site triggers some reactions from Siamese nationals who are an anti-government group [of Thailand] during these days. However, the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple is expected to face no obstacle, although there are some demonstrations held by a small number of Siamese.” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3342, 25.6.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Angkor Kampuchea, Vol.2, #15, 25.6.-1.7.2008

  • Illegal Yuon [Vietnamese] Immigrants Run Wood Workshops in Stung Treng; Yeay [Grandmother] Phoeung [a Vietnamese] Is the Biggest Illegal Wood Merchant in Town

Deum Ampil, Vol.2, #, 25.6-1.7.2008

  • For the Listing of Preah Vihear as a World Heritage Site, [Deputy Prime Minister and Senior Minister in Charge of the Council of Ministers] Mr. Sok An Led a Delegation to Québec [Canada – 24 June 2008]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1676, 25.6.2008

  • For the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Both Money and Time Have to Be Reduced [from US$170 million to US$143 million, and from five years to three years (2008 to 2010)]
  • A Group of Montagnards Tried to Break a Fence to Get out and Hold a Demonstration, but Were Prevented Immediately [according to the Ministry of Interior in charge of Immigration, the group of more than 200 Montagnards, who are under the control of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR] at Phnom Penh, tried to hold a demonstration to get five conditions accepted: 1. They do not agree to return to Vietnam, unless UNCHR accepts their request that the Vietnamese government agree with their demands first, 2. They ask for the respect of Human Rights, 3. They request freedom of religion, because most of them are Christian, 4. They request to receive their land back legally, which has been seized by the Vietnamese authorities, and 5. They request the release of minority tribespeople arrested by the Vietnamese authorities]
  • The Lions Clubs International Grants Aid to the Japan Mine Action Service to Support Mine Clearance in Cambodia [two cars and many other materials, such as bullet-proof protective vests and helmets]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #184, 25.6.2008

  • [Deputy Secretary-General of the Sam Rainsy Party] Mu Sochua: Inflation Rises, but Statistics Are Not Published, this Is a Sign of Irresponsibility of the Government

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #32, 25.6.2008

  • Fishing Community Is Concerned about the Use of Illegal Fishing Materials [Stung Treng]]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6380, 25.6.2008

  • About the Preah Vihear Temple Issue, the Thai Prime Minister [Samak Sundaravej] Points Out: Actually, on the Preah Vihear Temple Is the Cambodian Flag
  • The [Khmer Rouge] Tribunal Announced that US$143 Was Paid [for the former Khmer Rouge head of state] Khiev Samphan When He Was Referred to the Hospital Again [according to the Khmer Rouge tribunal spokesperson Mr. Reach Sambath, the health condition of Mr. Khiev Samphan is normal; he was sent to the hospital for a medical checkup]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3495, 25.6.2008

  • Lawyer [of the former Khmer Rouge leader Mr. Ieng Sary, Mr. Ang Udom] Asserted that Ieng Sary Is in a Serious Health Condition in Custody
  • Corruption and Illegal Immigrants Are Issues That the Cambodian People’s Party Finds Hard to Talk about

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4624, 25.6.2008

  • Thailand Steps Up Forces to Protect Cambodian Embassy in Bangkok [from being attacked by Thai demonstrators]
  • ADB Provided US$12.1 Million for Public Financial Administration Project [23 June 2008]
  • 300 International Observers Will Join the Observation of the Upcoming Election [according to Mr. William Clive, Director of the Technical Services of the UN Development Program]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3342, 25.6.2008

  • The Cambodian Watchdog Council Said that the New Map Will Create a Loss of Land at the Area 3 around the Preah Vihear Temple

Have a look at the last editorial – it is almost frightening to see to which extent there are strong emotions, disregarding related legal documents.

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