Around 100 Cambodian Journalists to Visit Thailand
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 09:22 DAP-NEWS/CHANG SOPHAL
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA, MARCH 02, 2011-Ouk Kim Seng, a senior official for the information ministry on Wednesday said that Thai media invited over 100 media crews from regional training program and exchange the views on Cambodia-Thailand relationship.
“Regional media will meet in Thailand and attended the training program. Cambodia media also will meet with senior officials from government’s ministries,” Kim Seng said on facebook.
Cambodian and Thai media exchanged visits to seek understanding on the bilateral ties after the two countries’ ties soured on political and diplomatic relationship.
“They also will visit Sra Keo province and meet the provincial officials,” a reporter said.
Cambodia and Thailand are trying to shorten the border issues and expand the tourism, culture, trade, and investment.
Thai troops invaded Cambodian soil on July 15, 2008 after Cambodia listed the 11th century Preah Vihear temple as world heritage site. The fresh deadly armed clashes brought the invaded issues to UN Security Council and ASEAN, and Indonesia will send 30 observers to the area soon after both sides had requested to do so.
OPINION: THE NEW WIND OVER CAMBODIAN-THAI ARMED CONFLICTS
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 04:57 DAP-NEWS
The involvement of a third party
The conflict between Thailand and Cambodia caused by Thai repeated acts of aggression has become international affairs since the UNSC meeting in New York on 14 February 2011 followed by the mediation effort by Indonesia, current chair of ASEAN at the 22 February ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting. Across the Atlantic from UNSC in New York City, to the European Union, the EU’s parliament condemned the deadly fighting occurring from 4 to 7 February and welcomed the efforts of Foreign Minister Marty Natalewaga of Indonesia who facilitated the meeting of all ten ASEAN foreign ministers, despite previous rejection of the idea of ASEAN involvement in resolving the conflict by Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajeva.
The outcome of the Jakarta meeting was that Cambodia and Thailand have agreed to allow Indonesian nationals civilian and unarmed military personnel to exercise the task of observers in the area of the frontier line where Cambodian Armed Forces units and Thai Armed Forces Units are positioning. It is worth noting that from the Cambodian standpoint as laid down by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, on the Cambodian side of the frontier line, Indonesian observers will have full freedom of access, “they can go anywhere, they can go any time, and they can see any thing they wanted to see.”
On the same matter, the international community including UNSC, ASEAN and EU was astounded to hear that up to 1 March 2011that “Thailand remains without a clear plan on when to allow the observers in,” as published by The Nation, on 1 March under the title: Thailand stalls on Temple visitors. The same news outlet reported also that Army Chief Prayuth Chan-ocha had said that: “Thailand will not allow Indonesian observers to have full access to the disputed border areas near Preah Vihear,” and that Thai Defence and Foreign ministries “so far have not reached common ground on the observers' roles.” There is no doubt in the international community’s mind that Thailand attempted to stall the terms of reference (TOR) on the Indonesian observers which have been sent to both Thailand and Cambodia by Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, the current chairman of ASEAN, while Cambodia has responded positively.
Alexander Mohr, an international relations expert and partner for international relations at the European government relations firm Alber & Geiger in Brussels, and former lecturer on international relations at the French University “Institut d'etudes Politiques de Paris,” France, in an article published in The Nation on 1 March 2011 under the title: “Border conflict could be an opportunity to redefine Asean,” has concluded that: “The involvement of a third party could have great potential to solve the problem between the two countries and at the same time re-define the role of Asean in the region in the long run.”
Certainly, when many people, from the UNSC, ASEAN, EU to private international individual are aware of the root causes of conflict between Thailand and Cambodia, as Samdech Techo Hun Sen of Cambodia has put it wisely: “we are moving out of the darkness and we are coming under daylight,” the resolution of the conflict between Thailand and Cambodia undeniably requires the involvement of a third party. As we speak the process is on the move.
How smart, how good, how cunning, how snaky, how slimy the leaders and members of the Thai governments are, it is already too much too late for them to stall the process, now. They will try nonetheless. The best for them is to cut their losses to a minimum.
Prof. Pen Ngoeun
Senior advisor and member of the Academic Committee
Puthisastra University, Phnom Penh, Cambodia,
Former Dean and Professor of the Faculty of Business and Economics
Pannasastra University of Cambodia,
Former Assistant Controller at Phibro Inc.,
A subsidiary of Citigroup Inc., New York City, USA, until 2000