Preah Vihear as the last struggle, how history will remember youSubmitted by prachatai on Fri, 27/06/2008 - 00:00
The new round of anti-government demonstrations by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) over the past one and a half months can be said to have reached its deepest stage reflecting the filthiness and loss of mind of the group. The issue of Preah Vihear has been directly manipulated by linking the issue to territorial integrity and the “state”.
When this issue is mentioned, most among the younger generation would know that “the castle belongs to Cambodia, while the entrance belongs to Thailand”. It is also understood that Thailand lost Preah Vihear to Cambodia when the dispute was settled in the International Court of Justice. Evidence, references, and reasons were used during the trial, and the whole world knows that it was settled.
All in all we can say it is a settled truth that Preah Vihear belongs to Cambodia. This is an indisputable fact. Disagreements about the boundary should be up to the future negotiations between Thailand and Cambodia.
On this issue, we should note that the Thai Army is directly in charge of the issue. On the registration of Preah Vihear, General Anupong Paojinda, Commander of the Royal Thai Army, has already stated clearly that the registration will concern the Preah Vihear part (which we have accepted belongs to Cambodia and most Thais are aware of this), and does not relate to the border dispute.
So what is the PAD trying to do? If this issue can succeed in expelling this government, we cannot neglect the true facts about this. We are seeing the insane build-up of an ultra-nationalistic wave. This will affect our relations with the neighbouring country. In our imagination we cannot possibly betray the facts and make Preah Vihear the property of Thailand.
If the fact is that the temple belongs to Cambodia, and that the disputed land will remain disputed, what is the benefit of making a big issue of this? Cambodia is not getting any benefit from the PAD, because they are registering their temple, not ours, as a UNESCO world heritage.
Either way, whatever we think, Cambodia will still be Thailand’s neighbour. Whatever we think, the temple will still be there and cannot be moved. If there is no conflict with our neighbouring country, both sides can make use of the temple (and we do not have to take care of it). Simply put, although the temple is not ours, we can make use of it. But if the issue is exploited as a way to oust this government we might not be able to set foot on the first step of the. Simply put, even if we think it is ours, we might not be able to make use of it.
The decision to discuss this irrational issue reflects deep difficulty of the PAD in identifying a weak point of the government that will attract the crowds (although there are many weak points of this government which cannot attract the crowd, they are important to the public). The PAD has chosen an emotional issue that will easily move the public. This kind of sentiment might rekindle past events when a Cambodian politician used the alleged words of a Thai actress to stir up nationalistic sentiment which ended up with the Thai embassy in Cambodia being torched.
It is quite difficult to think what the target of the PAD is. After its use of the monarchy resulted with many criticisms from many sides, the issue of nation is now being used unnecessarily. It is also being used to stir up emotions that could lead to riots where the people who believe in the PAD will be used as bait.
If this is so, it reflects the ruthlessness and foolishness of a small number of people which starts from their dislike of a politician, their distrust of politicians, and their lack of faith in the constitution and other rules, standards, and check-and-balance mechanisms that they were involved in constructing.
Is it not true that this ruthlessness of small number people started from the fear that “he” would seek revenge, which led them to stop to thinking rationally? They have become so selfish that they are using people’s lives as their tools.
Humans need to have imagination. I have many dreams. I dream that some in the PAD will become brave and express their bravery by having people remember them for getting down off the tiger’s back.
If they do not do so, if the future brings riots and violence, no matter which group starts it, which group is behind it, who is right or wrong, apart from the wrongful government which will have to be held responsible, the people that stirred all this up also have to bear responsibility and be branded for ‘having blood on their hands’ for generations.