Minute of Silence Observed In Memory of Fallen Cambodians
Phnom Penh, February 14, 2011 AKP – The Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of Cambodia observed a minute of silence in memory of the Cambodians who had been killed during a series of recent military attacks by the Thai army on the areas of Preah Vihear Temple.
The silence moment took place last Friday (Feb. 11) at a weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers with participation of the provincial governors through a teleconference.
A series of four military attacks which occurred from 4 to 7 February 2010 claimed seven lives of Cambodian soldiers and civilians and injured 31 others.
Speaking at the teleconference, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, said that the military operations at those times were of the nature of the large-scale war because the Thais had used the heavy weapons…but the situation at the present was not the same as what occurred in the past during which the Thais attacked and captured wantonly anywhere they wished to.
“They cannot capture even any inch of land,” said Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen.
Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, in his recent statement, affirmed that the use of heavy weapons up to 105mm, 130mm and 155mm mortar attacks in the long periods of fighting by the Thai army are not the armed clashes, but they are the war waged by Thailand.
Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen’s statement came out following the news reports quoting Thai Deputy Premier Suthep Thaugsuban as having said that the recent attacks along the Cambodia-Thailand border were the armed clashes…they were not the war.
“Thailand is now affirming that it is not a war yet due to the fact that it [Thailand] did not used airplanes [warplanes],” said Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen referring to the statement by Thailand.
“If they [Thailand] use airplanes [warplanes], they [Thailand] will demonstrate more clearly to the world their arrogant invasion.” –AKP
By Ravuth M.
Cambodia Rejects Thai Prime Minister’s Statement
Phnom Penh, February 14, 2011 AKP – The Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Office of the Council of Ministers of Cambodia has issued a statement rejecting the false statement of Thai Premier Abhisit Vejjajiva.
The following is the full statement dated today:
UNESCO Director-General To Send Special Envoy to Bangkok and Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh, February 14, 2011 AKP – UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova has announced that she would shortly send a special envoy to Bangkok and Phnom Penh, according to a UNESCO press release.
The full press release dated Feb. 10 reads as follows:
“UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova regretted the continuing tension between Cambodia and Thailand over the issue of the Temple of Preah Vihear. “The world’s cultural heritage should never be a cause for conflict”, she said.
She announced today that she would shortly send a Special Envoy on a mission of good offices to Bangkok and Phnom Penh, following appropriate consultations with both capitals.
The Director-General also stated that any assessment mission to the Preah Vihear site could only take place once calm has been restored to the area.
Meanwhile, UNESCO is in close touch with senior official of both countries.
The temple was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008. Dedicated to Shiva, is composed of a series of sanctuaries linked by a system of pavements and staircases over an 800-metre-long axis; it dates back to the first half of the 11th century AD. The site is exceptional for the quality of its carved stone ornamentation and its architecture, adapted to the natural environment and the religious foundation of the temple.”–AKP
Commercial Advertisement for Tobacco Product Banned
Phnom Penh, February 14, 2011 AKP – The commercial advertisement for tobacco product was banned in an approval made by the cabinet meeting held here on Feb. 11 in the presence of Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen.
The draft sub-decree on measures to ban commercial advertisement for tobacco product, suggested by the Ministry of Health, is aimed at protecting the people’s health, increasing the effectiveness of the control relating to the tobacco product advertisement, preventing all the means of advertisement from attracting the smokers, and reducing the use of tobacco product, as well as the impact on environment, economy and society.
In the meantime, the Council of Ministers’ meeting passed a draft sub-decree on forming the technical council dealing with social security given to those who are under the regulation of the labor law and a draft sub-decree on the agricultural product based on the contract.
And other issues relating to the national interests were also discussed and approved. –AKP
By THOU Peou
Cambodia: Terrorism Is Still a Hot Topic
Phnom Penh, February 14, 2011 AKP – Terrorism is still a hot topic which threatens the innocent people over the world, including people in ASEAN though great and active efforts in the framework of national, regional and international levels were taken to thwart the terrorism, said Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister H.E. Sar Kheng.
H.E. Sar Kheng, who presided over the opening of the sixth ASEAN-Japan counter-terrorism dialogue held here late last week at the Cambodiana Hotel, said that on the contrary, the terrorists have the ambitions to use all means and forms to conduct inhumane criminal acts, so as to double fears and tragedies to human being every day.
As the threat by terrorists is an obstacle to the national development and progress, Cambodia is firmly committed to create laws and mechanisms to prevent and crack down on terrorism and cross-border crimes, he said.
In the meantime, the Cambodian deputy prime minister said the meeting will be greatly benefited participating countries as they can propose their anti-terrorism projects to Japan for support through the Japan-ASEAN Integrated Fund to fight terrorism. –AKP
Cambodian Beach Listed as a World’s Most Beautiful Bay
Phnom Penh, February 14, 2011 AKP – Cambodian beach has recently been voted as a best beach of the World’s Most Beautiful Bays Club.
The voting was made under the unanimous decision of the club’s Board of Directors during a meeting in late January in Cargèse City of Corse, France.
Cambodia’s 440-kilometer long beach covers four provinces – Preah Sihanouk, Kep, Kampot and Koh Kong.
Minister of Tourism H.E. Thong Khon said that Cambodia will benefit a lot after admitted as a member of the World’s Most Beautiful Bays Club, through the exchange of experience among members of this club, especially on the development and conservation works in order to boost tourism field in Cambodia.
The World’s Most Beautiful Bay Club was established in 1997 in Berlin, Germany with 24 countries as its members so far. –AKP
By CHEA Vannak
It’s Time for UNSC to End the Never-Ending Thai Hostility against Cambodia over the Temple of Preah Vihear
Phnom Penh, February 14, 2011 AKP – Notwithstanding the verdict of the ICJ in 1962, Thai ruling classes have never given up their ambitions to re-annex the Temple of Preah Vihear which was occupied by forces shortly after the departure of French from Cambodia in 1953.
In the late 1950s, facing their arrogant fait accompli and as a result of vehement protest from Cambodia, they invited the latter to negotiate but at the same time they carried out various forms of intimidation such as military manoeuvres next to the border and violent demonstration in front of the Royal Embassy of Cambodia in Bangkok on 07 September 1958. As a matter of fact, it should be noted that during this demonstration, organized in response to the call of General Praphat Charusathien, Minister of Interior, the demonstrators held many banners which read: “Thai will ask ICJ to give them back the four provinces” (Battambang, Siem Reap, Sisophon and Koh Kong), “Preah Vihear is ours” (Bangkok World of 08 Sept 1958).
Then, after the release of ICJ verdict which was different from their high expectation to win this case against Cambodia, Marshall Sarit Thanarat made a televised statement saying “the government had no choice but to accept the ruling of the court”.
Later, on 04 January 1963, King Father Norodom Sihanouk, then Head of State, stated at Choam Ksan in Preah Vihear province the following: “The Thais have finally, after much prevarications and many delaying manoeuvres, evacuated Preah Vihear. That has not unfortunately prevented them from making good the loss by further expansionism: they have drawn a new frontier line, to our disadvantage in the neighborhood of Preah Vihear itself. In particular, they have laid barbed wire and set up military or police posts which in certain places encroach to a considerable depth on our territory, thus scorning the judgment of the ICJ” (ref: letter dated 23 April 1966 from Prince Norodom Kantol, Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Royal Government of Cambodia to the President of UNSC).
This statement by King Father was justified by Sondhi Limthongkul’s recent interviews on ASTV in which he alleged that “the loss of Preah Vihear was the fourteenth among the so-called Thailand’s Lost Territories”. Sondhi went on to say that while withdrawing from the Temple, Thai military didn’t take off the flag but up-rooted the flag- pole as a symbol that one day they could reinstall there again.
Not so long after the reoccupation of the Temple of Preah Vihear by Cambodia, Thai armed forces relaunched from 14 to 22 April 1966 an open aggression against Cambodian positions next to the Temple with heavy weaponry including F-105 fighter jets in an attempt to reoccupy the Temple (ref: letter dated 17 May 1966 from H.E Huot Sambath, Permanent Representative of Cambodia to the President of the UNSC-S/7305-18 May 1966).
Hence, last week aggression by Thai armed forces against Cambodia at Preah Vihear is a repetition of the history that follows the same pattern since 23 November 1940 when Thailand, being allied with the Axis Powers, re-annexed Battambang, Sisophon, Siem Reap including Preah Vihear.
Now, it is becoming clear enough that Thai ruling classes whose many elements of the residual spillover of the old-cliché have never abandoned their expansionistic policy towards Cambodia. Last week, Abhisit revealed that his government opposed to the 1: 200.000 map. This means that Thailand opposes to the ICJ verdict and is using instead military aggression to force Cambodia to comply with its mysterious and unilateral map in the same way as did Hitler. It is also beyond beliefs of everyone that “Thailand argues that it owns the 4.6 squarre kilometres area and the land the stone ruins are standing on”. How bizarre it is! What does it mean?
It means that their self-image of superiority is directed not only towards Cambodia, but also towards ICJ including judge Dean Acheson whose outstanding accomplishments have convinced former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to consider him “as the most historically respected Secretaries”. And as ICJ is part of the UN bodies, this arrogant argument is seen as provocative also towards international community as a whole. Similarly, they have hectored UNESCO’s leadership and threatened to withdraw Thai membership over the inscription of the Temple of Preah Vihear as World Heritage.
This time, their tactics remain exactly the same as they did half a century ago: waging war of aggression with support from on-going PAD protest which inflames ultra-nationalistic sentiment and encourages heated rhetoric against Cambodia and its leadership while warning any intervention of the third party to the negotiation including the UN. But, in this new era, they cannot mislead the world body by their slanderous campaign of intoxication against Cambodia, despite their dominant media.
For instance, following swift and opportune diplomatic action of Samdech Techo HUN SEN in persuading UNSC to” convene an urgent meeting so as to stop Thailand’s aggression”, the UNSC has taken on the issue as an urgent matter and has decided to convene such a meeting today, 14 February 2011, with the participation of ASEAN Chair, Dr. Marty Natalegawa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia despite the bitter disappointment of Abhisit.
We are not in a position to speculate the outcome of the meeting but, we think that it’s about time UNSC issued a final and definitive resolution to end this never-ending Thai hostility against Cambodia which has been always the victim for more than half a century and also to safeguard peace and stability in the region in line with the UN Charter and also with that of ASEAN.
14 February 2011
(The comments are solely the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Royal Government of Cambodia.)
OPINION The United Nations Have Good Reasons to Send UN Observers and UN Peace Keeping Forces to Stop Thai Invasion of Cambodia
Phnom Penh, February 14, 2011 AKP – The points stressed by Abhisit Vejjajiva about how to end the war and tensions between Cambodia and Thailand, as reported by The Bangkok Post Online on 11 February 2011 under the title: “PM urges Unesco to end chaos. World Heritage listing ‘cause of the problem’” unveil how capable Abhisit Vejjajiva is about twisting the truth and the fact, a true snake in the grass, and also they are points of fact that UN observers are indispensable to help curb the territorial appetite and the bullying of Thailand, a country many times stronger than Cambodia.
Thailand took the liberty to degrade international norms
How can Abhisit Vejjajiva, a Prime Minister of a supposedly civilized nation has contempt for the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of 1972, the World Heritage Committee (WHC) and the UNESCO, by calling the UNESCO to delist the Temple of Preah Vihear from the World Heritage List and scrap the management plan that was highly appreciated by experts when they presented the report to the WHC for consideration in Brasilia, Brazil in 2010. Abhisit Vejjajiva is the first Prime Minister who scorns all the expert works of so many world organizations involved with UNESCO and the WHC. This would lead historians and legal experts to recall about Thanat Khomann who scorned the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for its 15 June 1962 Judgments on the Temple of Preah Vihear, the same way as the government of Thailand that scorns the 13 February 1904 Franco-Siamese Treaty. The “chaos” is “Made in Thailand”. The source of the problem is not the listing of the Temple of Preah Vihear, nor the management plan, but Thailand’s traditional bullying nature. Thai PM twisted the fact and accused UNESCO to be the one that creates “chaos”.
UN Observers will find the truth, stop the trading of accusations, and stop the war.
“Mr. Abhisit stressed Thailand needed to ensure that the facts were presented to the international community,” reported the Bangkok Post. It sounds grandiose. What does the UN can expect from “a snake in the grass?” – Of course the manufactured facts, and the manufactured facts only. And Abhisit Vejjajiva also said that Cambodian troops used the Temple of Preah Vihear to mount attacks on Thailand several days later after Cambodia shows to the world the proof of the remnants of M42 and M46 cluster munitions used by Thailand to fire at the Temple of Preah Vihear, and also several days later Colonel Sansern Kaewkamnerd, Royal Thai Army spokesman, said a Cambodian cluster bomb attack killed Major Thanakorn Poonperm, deputy commander of the Paramilitary Rangers Company 2306. These are examples of typical bullying acts of Thailand, to accuse Cambodia the same thing that Cambodia had presented as evidences of Thai’s attacks, and to fly their fighters jets close to the Cambodian air space, an act of provocation, by claiming that they are on mission to patrol Thai air space, while Thailand knew that Cambodia does not have jet fighters or any other war plane. Accusations, counter-accusations and trading of accusations will be sorted out appropriately by UN observers or UN peace keepers. For all Thai accusations, which Thailand had always claimed to be factual and true, if verified by a third party they would lend indisputable credibility to Thailand. Why Thailand does not want the presence of a third party? Why Thailand is afraid of international mechanism? Why Thailand does not want the presence of UN observers or UN peace keepers if Thailand claims that Cambodia occupies Thailand’s territory and attacks Thailand? That is mind boggling. Undeniably, Thailand has an agenda and a scheme to bully Cambodia and cries wolf, then sends troops to invade and occupy Cambodian territory. Without UN observers or UN peace keepers, and without an international mechanism following the pleas of Cambodia, the country that has been the victim of Thailand’s aggressions on 15 July 2008, 15 October 2008, 2-3 April 2009 and lately 4-7 February 2011, Thailand will certainly take the indifference and the silence of the international community to be a “carte blanche” and launches a full-scale aggression against Cambodia.
Twisting facts and realities with innuendo, off-base speculation and wild suggestions
When the Bangkok Post wrote “Thai efforts to resolve the boundary conflict with Cambodia bilaterally have failed,” this is twisting the fact and realities to give credit to the government of Abhisit Vejjajiva, while putting the blame on Cambodia in the form of innuendo. Thailand’s deceptive tactics have stalled the demarcation of the land boundary. Thailand created the “internal legal processes” as the plunging of the hard sticks across the turning wheel to slowdown and then to stall the demarcation process. Abhisit Vejjajiva has begged Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen to allow “Thai internal legal and parliamentary processes to work their ways,” however more parliamentary processes have been set up and more delays in ratifying the three (3) last agreements by Cambodian and Thai JBC negotiations, and the first of those three dated back to 2008, while Abhisit Vejjajiva and Kasit Piromya spoke highly about bilateral talks, only to be disseminated by the Thai powerful media as a propaganda ploy and to foul the international public opinion about the “goodwill” of Thailand that has proven to be simply a campaign of intoxication of the international public opinion. The Bangkok Post also wrote that “Bangkok suggested the Joint Boundary Committee (JBC) should resume its work negotiating boundary demarcation by the end of this month, though the exact date has yet to be confirmed. The Cambodians are not likely in the mood to sit down and talk right now.” This is off-base speculation and wild suggestion as the realities behind and the reasons of Cambodia’s avoidance of bilateral talks have been presented here above.
Dealing with a “snake in the grass” had given too much headache to Cambodia. That is why Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia has asked the UN to send peacekeeping forces to create a buffer zone at the area of the Temple of Preah Vihear to prevent further damages by artillery shells from Thailand. This demand is legitimate under existing international rule of law, under the UN Charter, under the provisions of the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of 1972, and the articles and operational guidelines of the WHC. The Cambodian people unanimously, including politicians of the opposition party, supports the position of the Royal Government of Cambodia, and humbly but persistently ask the UNSC to act in favor of the demand of the Royal Government of Cambodia.
Senior Analyst and Researcher on
Institute for International Affairs, Cambodia
14 February 2011
(The comments are solely the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Royal Government of Cambodia.)
OPCC Concerned at Arrest of Publisher in Myanmar
Phnom Penh, February 14, 2011 AKP – The Overseas Press Club of Cambodia (OPCC) has in a press release expressed its concern over the arrest of Australian publisher Ross Dunkley in Myanmar late last week.
The full press release dated Feb. 14 reads as follows: