A Change of Guard

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Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Cambodia scrubs Thai trade show

Published: 17/05/2011
Bangkok Post

The Cambodian government has postponed a Thai trade exhibition set for Thursday due to concerns about safety after border conflicts between the two countries.

Cambodian Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh (pictured) sent a letter dated May 13 to the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh to contact organisers to defer the Thailand Trade Exhibition 2011 until a "more favourable time comes", the Phnom Penh Post quoted him as saying.

The event had been set from Thursday to Sunday at the Diamond Island Convention Centre in the Cambodian capital.

The minister's decision was influenced by the Thai army's export ban on fuel and other strategic products to Cambodia from the Chong Chom checkpoint in Kap Choeng district in Surin province over fears they could be used for military purposes by Cambodia amid border tension between the two nations.

"I am of the opinion that this is not the right time to promote Thai products in Cambodia. We cannot guarantee the reaction of Cambodian visitors to such an exhibition after such bad behaviour," Cham Prasidh was quoted as saying.

More than 100 exhibitors had planned to show their products at the event.

Ties between the two countries have been strained after the border clashes in April on the disputed border in Surin and Si Sa Ket. The central issue is the overlapping area of 4.6 square kilometres near Preah Vihear Temple opposite Kantharalak district in Si Sa Ket.

Yesterday villagers in Phanom Dong Rak district in Surin prepared for evacuation and some left for other areas following rumours that Cambodian soldiers would attack Thai army positions.

An army officer said soldiers had sent a message to all villages telling villagers and border traders to calm down. They were guaranteed Thai soldiers were on alert and showed no complacency on the border situation, the officer, who requested anonymity, said.


Anonymous said...

The Thai people need to be told the facts

It about face. It is not about facts. It is not about the rule of law. It is not about abiding by a decision that the highest court in the world made 48 years ago. It is politics and face.

The Thai people need to be told the facts – not the political rhetoric that is spewed from stages in Bangkok.

Too bad the people of Thailand can’t rally around a real problem in Thailand – the slaughter of innocents in the Southern provinces that goes on daily. But, the rich don’t care about that – it has no effect on Bangkok And, Preah Vihear has no effect on Bangkok either.

Come on Thailand. Get the facts about Preah Vihear and learn the truth.

here was no solving it bilaterally, and it wound up going to the highest court on the planet – The Hague. They, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), ruled in 1962 that the map was legitimate and that the land belonged to Cambodia. They also said that the Thai military needs to leave the area and any artifacts need to be returned to Cambodia.

Not much went on between the two countries until Cambodia applied to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) to get Preah Vihear World Heritage status. Cambodia has already done this successfully for two other sites. And, they were also successful with getting Preah Vihear listed in 2008.

This ruffled a few Thai feathers saying that the Thai Government didn’t do anything to stop Cambodia from getting Preah Vihear listed. Bangkokians blamed the government for selling out the country and giving away Thai sovereign land.

They blame the current Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, for not doing enough when 7 yellow shirt protesters “inadvertantly” crossed into Cambodia to protest the property and were arrested. Five have since been released and 2 remain in jail.

The Yellow Shirts now blame PM Abhisit for not interceding with the Cambodian legal system and getting them released. This is how stupid all this gotten. Soldiers and civilians on both sides have died because of what? A couple of acres of land that has already been legally deemed to belong to Cambodia.

It has escalated to a world incident now with countries telling Thailand to settle this peacefully. The cease fires come and go and the finger pointing at Cambodia cotinues daily.

For Thailand more embarrassment and nightmares still to come after The Hage interpretation of 1962 ruling.

Anonymous said...

good job, to fight back and postpone
expo show in koh pich.. i support on this decision..