Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Thai Cambodian border at Khao Praviharn

Look at the map of the border area between Thailand and Cambodia at Khao Praviharn area. From the contour map it can be seen where the border is, or was.  Around 1962 (I recall from memory, did not look up), Thailand lost the case againt Cambodia in World court against all odds and was sentenced to surrender the tip of the Khao Praviharn, against the common sense of most laymen, any nationality. I heard that Thailand's position is that she never accept that sentence in full, pending new evidence in the future that can be used to resurrect the case again.

Now, with initiatives of Cambodia, the World court is asking both Thailand and Cambodia to withdraw troop from wider areas.  I personally don't believe Cambodia would withdraw their soldiers from the peak. Nor do they plan to withdraw their civilians from the area.  I think we are aware of ancient tale about a gentle horse that was squeezed out of its shelter by another hostile horse. Cambodia under the present leadership has been trying to squeeze in their soldiers (without uniforms) and their families to occupy that area, and has been aiming to expand the beach head and thus escalate the situation.

Personally I don't like to see any fighting to erupt since fighting will waste lives of good people from both sides. Soldiers and villagers from that area in both countries are mostly hereditary related and why do they have to kill each other due to a land dispute instigated by certain politician(s). (I don't want to name names, it's against my blogging principle.)  We all don't have much time left for our lives.  Looking back over multiple centuries of history and anyone can see that border lines usually shifted after some time, even some new countries arose along the way.  Usually, it is the politicians who tried to exploit and gain benefits from situation, e.g. to improve their domestic political position while small people are casualties for their actions.

I think Thailand has been cheated of its legitimate border by the World court due to her trust in Western legal system, blindly ignored the omnipresent back-end dealings among powerful western countries, which she should not have. She had a militarily upper hand during the conflict in the 60s. People of both countries would be at perfect peace and better off now had the area was still under Thailand's jurisdiction.  And now, 50 years later, some politicians in foreign countries have tried to exploit her situation further. When I drove to that area last year, I sadly could not enter the National park area in my own country their due to occupation by foreign troops.  I could not admire its natural beauty in that area, let alone the civilization relics there.  I think previous Thailand governments up to the Abhisit government have to accept the responsibility on their past inaction on this issue for decades.

I am about to become a Buddhist monk in the future, so that the way I look at it, and I think that is from a neutral point of view.

P.S. I can't help but recalling well the ending of the tale of the horses. We 'll see.

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