Friday, December 30, 2011

Cambodia Benefits From Internationalizing Border Clashes

The situation of clashes at the Thai-Cambodian border in Surin is still very worrying. Both sides rushed to build up troops and transport heavy weapons to build up bases for launching full attacks. The bases have been built along over 15-km-long borderline from Ta Khwai Temple to Ta Muean Thom Temple.
Cambodia has deployed troops from the Special Taskforce 91, which is under direct command of Major General Hun Manet, favorite son of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Main Reason
I believe Hun Manet wants to show and prove his fighting skill to the Cambodian people. This was the main reason that the Cambodian troops crossed the border to try to seize the Ta Khwai Temple three times but they were bombarded by troops from the Second Army Region, causing them to flee back.
It should be noted that when the Thai and Cambodian troops bombarding each other with artillery, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made two-day visit to Phnom Penh as a special guest of Hun Sen.
I believe Hun Sen and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who is a great ally of Cambodia, definitely held a closed-door meeting to discuss the Thai-Cambodian border clashes.
What should be monitored is whether Hun Sen would seek military help from Vietnam if the fighting drags on. It should also be monitored how Vietnam, which is a member of Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), will play its role regarding to this problem.
So far, what has become certain is that the Thai-Cambodian border clashes have been internationalized and sent to the United Nations very fast.
Maintaining Cease-Fire
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement, demanding the two countries to stop using force to attack each other. The UN secretary general also called on the two countries to exercise restraint, so that they could hold negotiations to sustainedly solve the problem.
The UN secretary general also called on the two countries to come up with measures for effectively maintaining cease-fire, which should be verified immediately.
I see that the stand of the UN secretary general and ASEAN chairman, who called on the two countries to cease-fire and call for a measure for verifying ceasefire immediately, went along with the wish of Hun Sen.
Hun Sen wants third countries to get involved in the conflicts between Thailand and Cambodia.
This is a main problem that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra must rush to solve.
As a result, Yingluck has made preparations to seek a talk with Hun Sen during an ASEAN Summit in Indonesia early May.
Negative Impacts
Yingluck raised a condition that such a talk must be a bilateral one without participation of any other country or organization.
The use of heavy weapons to bombard each other by the two countries has caused several negative impacts as following:
1. The longer the fight continues, the more casualties of troops of the two countries will happen. Although more Cambodian troops were killed than Thai troops, it was not an issue that we should rejoice.
2. The longer the clashes continue, the more budget will be spent.
3. Now that the situation in the bilateral ties has been under much tension, the hope has become diminished for two Thais, who have been detained by Cambodia on spying charges, to be released and sent back to Thailand.
4. More than 40,000 people in Surin and Buri Ram, including children and aged people, had to be evacuated and had to leave their homes and farmlands behind.
5. The border clashed prevented peoples living along the borderline from visiting each other like what they could do in the past.
6. The protracted fight will damage the border trades.
All in all, the border clashes had tremendous negative impacts.
Only a group of people do not care about the ongoing fighting.
They are Thai gamblers who continued to cross the border to gamble in casinos in Poipet.
As long as the casinos in Poipet are still open, the Thai gamblers will be willing to cross the border to fight against the casinos' owners.
And they will always return home empty-handed.

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