Southeast Asia

Thai-Cambodia Border Decision Risks Renewing Nationalist Protests

x
Thai-Cambodia Border Decision Risks Renewing Nationalist Protests i
X
26 June 2013
The United Nation's top court is expected to rule later this year on Cambodia's request to determine ownership of disputed territory on its border with Thailand. The International Court of Justice in the 1960s declared an ancient temple around the border to be Cambodia's but did not decide on land around the temple. A clear ruling on the land risks renewing tensions between the neighbors that, in recent years, has led to deadly military clashes. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Bangkok.
Daniel SchearfVOA
— The United Nations top court is expected to rule later this year on Cambodia's request to determine ownership of disputed territory on its border with Thailand. The International Court of Justice in the 1960s declared an ancient temple around the border to be Cambodia's but did not decide on land around the temple. A clear ruling on the land risks renewing tensions between the neighbors that, in recent years, has led to deadly military clashes. 
 
Thai nationalists two years ago demanded the United Nations cultural office de-list a Cambodian temple as a World Heritage site.
 
They view the recognition as a loss of Thai sovereignty stemming from a 1962 decision by a top U.N. court.
 
The International Court of Justice ruled on the ownership of the temple but, until this year, refused to decide who owns the land around it.
 
At Bangkok's Institute of Security and International Studies, Thitinan Pongsudhirak says it would be best if the court left ownership ambiguous.
 
"I'm hoping that this time we will see a similar ambiguity which forces Cambodian government and Thai government to sit down and work things out.  Because now we have two governments that seem to be able to talk," he said. 
 
Tensions over the issue led to sporadic clashes along the border that killed 20-some people and sent tens of thousands of villagers fleeing for safety.
 
The 900-year-old Khmer Hindu temple, called Preah Vihear in Cambodia and Phra Viharn in Thailand, was damaged in the fighting.
 
The border dispute was fueled by opponents of exiled former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, says political analyst Thitinan.
 
"Politicization of the temple listing has been a function of domestic Thai politics.  At the same time, the Cambodian side, Prime Minister Hun Sen, also did not help by taking sides in this division in Thailand, by taking the side of Thaksin Shinawatra," he said. 
 
Indonesia sought to mediate the dispute, but the Thai military refused to allow monitors on the border.
 
Nonetheless, relations improved after Thaksin's sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, was elected prime minister and the Thai army became more hesitant, says political analyst Thitinan.
 
"There are no backing, direct backing, from other sources to agitate, to aggravate, stimulate the army to go on the march again. So, much more conducive than 2011 for the Thai army to abide by whatever decision that comes out of ICJ," he said. 
 
Regardless of the court's decision, locals who live along the border want peace to prevail over politics so life and trade can continue as normal.  
Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Yearlong Political Deadlock Endsi
X
22 July 2014
Cambodia’s political deadlock has ended. For nearly a year, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has refused to join the government, calling for electoral reforms in a system it says was deeply flawed. Following nearly five hours of meetings between top opposition officials and Prime Minister Hun Sen, that deadlock has ended. The two sides finally reached agreement on a formula for selecting the National Election Committee, which the Rescue Party has said was biased toward the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. Hun Sen and Rescue Party President Sam Rainsy emerged from talks Tuesday smiling and shaking hands. “Victory,” Hun Sen told reporters after the meeting. “You can all applaud.” (Heng Reaksmey, Phnom Penh)

English with Mani & Mori

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Labor of Love (Movie: That's What I Am)i
X
21 July 2014
You can say, "Every weekend he volunteers at the hospital working with the sick and the dying. It brings him great joy to care for others. It's his 'labor of love' to humanity." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to www.khmer.voanews.com/maniandmori or www.youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
Video

Video Labor of Love (Movie: That's What I Am)

You can say, "Every weekend he volunteers at the hospital working with the sick and the dying. It brings him great joy to care for others. It's his 'labor of love' to humanity." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
Video

Video Put Stock In (Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2)

AT THE MOVIES WITH MANI & MORI - English Learning / American Idioms You can say, "Her history and her patterns have shown that she is not very responsible with money, so I am not going to 'put too much stock in' believing she has changed." What does it mean? Watch here.
Video

Video Thick Skinned [Movie: The Lion King]

You can say, "I find that it's necessary sometimes to be 'thick skinned' to public opinions, some people will like you and some will not … it's just how it is." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
Video

Video Knock Your Socks Off [Movie: Meet The Robinsons]

You can say, "You have to try this new Cambodian restaurant in DC, it's super delicious, it's amazing - one bite of it and it will 'knock your socks off'." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
See more >>>