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Aug 28, 2011

Why Preah Vihear Is Not The Problem?

  As you see in my blog, I’m not really interested in regional politics, let alone local one. It has to do with news. News is not widely available for regional political context. So, I find it hard-pressed to write a good article.
Now, the Preah Vihear case is in the hands of ICJ. At the same time, the situations in Thailand remain largely volatile. But the political earthquake was over.  I think major social unrests in Thailand are unlikely. Most people would love to use the words: Preah Vihear crisis or Preah Vihear dispute.
Preah Vihear dispute has been settled since 1965. Preah Vihear is just a pretext the Yellow Shirt used to topple Thai Governments. From my point of view, the problems we are having with Thailand are border disputes, especially with the sea borders.  Needless to say, Preah Vihear is the problem between Thai and Thai.
France Essential 
It is worth noting that we have been paid for our lip service. There have been clashes in the frontier provinces. Some groups demand that Thailand pay for the damages. But I don’t think the Thai Government will pay. Why? We received than 100 million dollars already.
For ICJ’s forthcoming judgment, I expect it would something both sides can at least get a reason to claim victory. Preah Vihear is a small fish. The big fish is about our sea borders. Everyone seems attentive on Preah Vihear issue. But it’s not really the problem. Only a bit of exaggeration, Preah Vihear is not our problem.
For sure, Thai politicians used to play Preah Vihear card. But I believe they won’t use it heavily as before. Thai political crises should end up in:
The King will play a more symbolic role.  2. The military groups will be less powerful, at least in theory. 3. Thai middle class people will have a greater say for their future. 4. All parties involved will be either pardoned or acquitted by the King.
Prime Minister Hun Sen once called on France to come and help settle the disputes. Francois Fillon took a visit to Cambodia not so long time ago. France has finally come. And the disputes have been internationalized. United Sates and United States might be involved with disputes setting process between Thailand and Cambodia. 
The card now is in our hand. Asked if our politicians will play it or not, I’m not sure. The good thing I think we get is that we won’t have any big problem with our neighbor countries once the disputes are settled. It will be long. It will be hard but it won’t be impossible.