Cambodia yesterday slammed Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, saying he was incapable of leading a government or being a member of Asean or even the United Nations.
Abhisit showed his true character when he joined a gathering organised by the alarmist People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), which is behaving like Cambodia’s enemy and threatening to revoke the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the border demarcation, a statement from Cambodia’s Office of the Council of Ministers said.
Tensions were sparked when Abhisit declared that under the 1962 International Court of Justice ruling, only the Preah Vihear ruins belonged to Cambodia, while the surrounding area belonged to Thailand, the statement read.
Abhisit has flip-flopped on the implementation of the MoU as his government stalled the progress of the joint boundary committee, it said.
The two countries have been at loggerheads, engaging in a war of words over the temple as Thailand continues to oppose the temple’s World Heritage inscription over fears of losing its territory.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Abhisit sent separate letters to the UN explaining and clarifying their accounts accusing each other of border encroachment.
In his letters, Abhisit said that Hun Sen had “misquoted, taken out of context and misunderstood” him in an earlier letter to the UN that accused the Thai PM of threatening to use military force to settle the border dispute.
However, the Cambodian government’s statement said that Abhisit was just shifting the blame to the media because he wanted to avoid responsibility and hide his true intentions. It said the prime minister had intensified the “toxic” campaign of getting the public to accept Thailand’s use of force against Cambodia.
PAD, which is a major ally of Abhisit’s government, demanded he revoke the MoU on boundary demarcation signed in 2000 and use military force to remove Cambodians living in the areas adjacent to Preah Vihear.
Abhisit said he would not revoke the MoU, because it was a key, useful instrument for border settlement. “It is Thailand’s conviction that any differences between countries can be settled by peaceful means,” Abhisit said in his letters to the UN Security Council and General Assembly.
Under the MoU, the two countries set up a joint boundary committee (JBC) to survey and demarcate the boundary, but it has made little progress so far. The minutes of three JBC meetings are now pending parliamentary approval as required by the Constitution and JBC cannot resume its negotiations about the border.
The Thai-Cambodia General Border Committee (GBC), another joint mechanism on border affairs, had to postpone a meeting due late this month indefinitely due to the war of words between the two leaders.
The GBC, co-chaired by the defence ministers from the two nations, was meant to have its seventh meeting in Pattaya on August 27-28.
Cambodia’s Defence Minister Tea Banh proposed that the forum be postponed because relevant documents were not ready yet, the Thai Defence Ministry’s spokesman Colonel Thanathip Savangsaeng said.
“It is not abnormal for the GBC to postpone meetings when either side is not ready,” the spokesman said, adding that the tension between the two governments was not the reason for the delay.
Relations between the militaries of both countries remained good and the border situation was normal, he said.
However, an informed source said the tension was really the reason, because Tea Banh was worried about Thai and Cambodian people’s sentiments over Preah Vihear.
On the other hand, Thanathip said the GBC had nothing to do with the temple dispute because it had to discuss several other issues on border affairs, including military cooperation, anti-narcotics cooperation and maritime security.
source: according nationmultimedia.com