Phnom Penh, February 19, 2011, AKP— On 14 February 2011, “members of the [United Nation] Security Council urge the parties to establish a permanent ceasefire and to implement it fully.” On 17 February, in the morning, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia announced that at the 22 February ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in Jakarta, Cambodia will propose “a permanent ceasefire” to be signed by Cambodia and Thailand and countersigned by ASEAN members other than Cambodia and Thailand or by the Chairman of ASEAN. On the same day at 05:25 PM, the Bangkok Post Online reported that Thailand Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said “It is still too soon to talk about signing a ceasefire agreement with Cambodia.”
Whether we will have a ceasefire or not in Jakarta remains to be seen. ASEAN as a whole will know the reasons behind the outcome of the meeting. “All of us, we will be under daylight; we will no longer be in the dark,” said Samdech Hun Sen, inferring that ASEAN members will become a certified third party to the negotiations between Cambodia and Thailand. This is unavoidable.
Samdech Hun Sen has put a mark on his personae as a pacifist, a peace lover, a peace seeker, and a peace maker by stressing the fourth point of Cambodia’s proposal about how to do to guarantee an effective and permanent ceasefire by asking ASEAN members other than Cambodia and Thailand to dispatch ASEAN personnel whether civilian or in uniform to go to the border areas between Cambodia and Thailand to supervise and oversee the implementation of the ceasefire, and in case of rejection by Thailand, Cambodia will invite ASEAN members unilaterally to dispatch observers and station on Cambodian soil, civilian or in uniform, and Cambodia will be very pleased and grateful even if only one member responds favorably to the Cambodian government call.
As Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen had said many times before, Cambodians are not the aggressors therefore Cambodians are not afraid of a third party.
by Prof. Pen Ngoeun ( contributor)
Prof. Pen Ngoeun is a senior advisor and member of the Academic Committee at Puthisastra University in Phnom Penh.
(The comments are solely the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Royal Government of Cambodia.)