Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Thailand Vs Cambodia: Back to the battlefields?

via CAAI

"Silence is not necessarily golden"

Thailand Vs Cambodia: Back to the battle fields?

Now that the United Nations refused to get directly involved with the fight between Thailand and Cambodia, and sent them back to ASEAN the heat is back on for Hun Sen and Abhisit Vejjajiva. However, Cambodia will fight the uphill battle against the big boys of ASEAN namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. These big boys are the FOUNDING FATHERS of ASEAN and Cambodia, one of the unwanted members, is just a muddy small newest boy on the block. Will Cambodia be treated respectfully and impartially by these powerful members?

The answer to this question will be obvious and may be hidden in the statement of Singapore’s founding father Lee Kwan Yew cited by the Phnom Penh Post on December 15, 2010. Lee Kwan Yew reportedly stated that, “Cambodia should not have been accepted into ASEAN due to its lack of shared values with the bloc’s founding members.” Whether Lee Kwan Yew was right or wrong, Hun Sen should realize that when it comes to Cambodia, Lee or Singapore will not be sympathetic to him, hence Hun Sen will have one less powerful member to count on.

There is little hope for Cambodia to win its case against Thailand with ASEAN’s involvement or by the so-called bilateral talk demanded by Thailand. When push comes to shove, Cambodia will probably have to turn to Vietnam and or China, its bigger brothers, to help in the fight. These two countries will not let Cambodia plunge into an all out war with Thailand for they have so many interests in money and investments in Cambodia.

With the ongoing political and personal fight among “war mongers”, it appears that additional clashes will take place at the battlefields and many more innocent people will be maimed, killed and displaced before any kind of settlement will be reached. Those people are the poor and underprivileged Khmers who will be sacrificed for the interests of rich and powerful ones. With naked eyes we may see that the fight is about national interests but with microscopic views we may see that the problems can be traced by/to the money trails.

Can Cambodia trust ASEAN?
"Silence is not necessarily golden"

Can Cambodia trust ASEAN?

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations was formed on 8 August 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. These countries are well known to have closer relationship with the West and economically stable. Thailand is one of the senior countries and is one of the so-called “Founding Fathers” of ASEAN.

Later on ASEAN membership has expanded to include Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. These countries are well known as communistic, dictatorship and are closer to China than to the West.

Cambodia is the youngest or newest member of all. It was accepted by ASEAN on April 30, 1999. I am not sure in what class Cambodia is categorized, but if Thailand is one of the “Founding Fathers” then Cambodia is only the newest “kid” on the block.

Can Cambodia trust ASEAN?

ASEAN aims include the “acceleration of economic growth, social progress, cultural development among its members, the protection of the peace and stability of the region, and to provide opportunities for member countries to discuss differences peacefully.” The following is ASEAN’s Anthem:


Raise our flag high, sky high
Embrace the pride in our heart
ASEAN we are bonded as one
Look-in out-ward to the world.
For peace, our goal from the very start
And prosperity to last.
We dare to dream we care to share.
Together for ASEAN
we dare to dream,
we care to share for it's the way of ASEAN!

Obviously, the recent fighting or the border war between an aggressive Founding Farther and a new kid on the block proves that ASEAN cannot handle its own problems. ASEAN’s motto: "One Vision, One Identity, One Community" or "10 countries, 1 identity” and the Southeast Asian Anthem (written and composed by the Thai) are humiliations to all members of ASEAN for they contradict such current actions taken by Thailand toward Cambodia.

Cambodia may have to think twice to let ASEAN handle its national issues because it appears that what Thailand says and does are two different things. The United Nations is the best organization to help solve Cambodia’s problems against Thailand. Bilateral talk or multilateral talk with ASEAN’s involvement will give Thailand the upper hand.

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