Should be settled peacefully through two-party talks
Published: 8/02/2011 at 12:07 PM
The continuing Thai-Cambodian border dispute should be settled peacefully at the bilateral level, Cambodia's ambassador to Thailand You Ay said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the Couple of Love and Rival seminar on Tuesday morning, she said people should not politicise the border issue. It should be addressed at the bilateral level within the framework of the Thailand-Cambodia Joint Boundary Commission (JBC).
The border row would jeopardise regional cooperation in Southeast Asia, such as the single-visa agreement under the Acmecs (Ayeyawady - Chao Phraya - Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy) scheme, she said.
"Educators need to teach the true history of both countries to the young generation," she said.
The Cambodian envoy also urged the Thai public to be well aware of the neutral voices, which do not take sides and have good faith.
She said the Bayon temple, a World Heritage site in Siem Reap, has 54 towers each representing the 54 provinces of the ancient Khmer empire.
"Cambodia now has only 24 provinces, because 17 of the others are in Vietnam and 13 in Thailand.
"Thai and Cambodian people share the same DNA as a consequence," she said.
She said Cambodia had never thought about claiming its 13 former provinces in Thailand, as both countries must co-exist side by side.
The border issue stemmed from the different maps used by the two countries. Cambodia used La Carte de l’annexe I which was an integral part of the (border) treaty settlement and widely-accepted internationally while Thailand used the map unilaterally produced during 1970-1975 during the time of Kampuchea democratic (government), she said.
In peaceful time, the Joint Border Committee was the suitable mechanism to deal with border dispute, but in the armed border conflicts like this, the multilateral mechanism such as the International Court of Justice should be the proper venue, said the Cambodian ambassador.
Since Feb 4 the border clashes have caused three deaths inThailand, one civilian and two soldiers, and 25 injuries, with five Cambodians reported dead and 45 injured.