29th March, 2011
Thailand has shown its true colours when it dishonoured its agreement with Cambodia and the other eight Asean foreign ministers to allow the deployments of Indonesian observers to the Khmer-Thai disputed border and refused to the attend the meeting with Cambodia it had agreed earlier. Thailand’s action in dishonouring this agreement has reinforced Cambodia’s claims of Thailand’s insincerity and had strengthened Cambodia’s insistence on multilateral engagements instead of the fruitless bilateral talks in the past three years.
Cambodia has suspended all bilateral talks with Thailand and has since insisted on multilateral talks due to its claims of Thailand’s insincerity and dishonesty after Thailand refused to implement the three agreements reached with Cambodia during the course of nearly three years of bilateral talks. Now, Thailand is being dishonest with Asean by turning around and rejecting the deployment of the Indonesian observers after it had agreed in front of the 10 Asean foreign ministers during the meeting on 22nd February 2011 to accept such deployment.
Thailand is bluffing Asean and the UN Security Council (UNSC) by dishonouring such much-anticipated agreement. Thailand, for its own honour and reputation, must not act so childish and irresponsibly. This shows that, if Thailand is not afraid to dishonour its agreement with Asean and the UNSC, then it is clear that Thailand will have no hesitation of dishonouring its agreement with Cambodia. With this in mind, and for this reason alone, Cambodia is right in rejecting all bilateral talks with Thailand by insisting on multilateral engagements in all future talks.
It is also dishonest of Thailand to reject the deployments of Indonesian observers after it signed an agreement in front of the 10 Asean foreign ministers to allow such deployments. This kind of back-flip can only be described as insincere and dishonest.
Thailand has been insisting on bilateral talks with Cambodia as it hopes to grandstand and manhandle Cambodia in the talks. Cambodia wants multilateral talks because it has consistently claimed that it had been intimidated and manhandled by Thailand and because of Thailand’s stand over tactics and dishonesty in not implementing the agreements reached during the course of the negotiations in the past three years.
Thailand’s latest insincerity and dishonesty in refusing to attend the Bogor meeting and in rejecting the deployment of Indonesian observers have proved that Thailand cant’ be trusted and that multilateral talks to the Khmer-Thai border conflict are needed.