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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Comment : Thailand's Double Standards Must Be Stopped

Comment : Thailand's Double Standards Must Be Stopped

One of the most gentle, open minded, cooperative ambassadors in Phnom Penh is without

doubt the representative of the King of Thailand. At the same time, in Bangkok, days

after the promulgation of the Cambodian constitution and the setting up of legitimate

institutions recognized by the world community (an assembly, a government, the Monarchy),

the Thai foreign minister and the chief of the Thai National Security Council are

still speaking about Cambodian "factions" and Cambodian "sides,"

putting at the same level legitimate institutions and outlaws. Why the Thai double

game?

Thailand willingly describes itself as a civilized country concerned with international

law, but when political prisoners have been escaping from Khmer Rouge zones to Thailand,

the Thai army did not entrust them to the International Committee of the Red Cross

or the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (still on the spot). It returned them

to Pol Pot and certain death. Why the Thai double game?

Thailand is a signatory country of the Paris Peace Accords, which obliges neighboring

countries to respect the sovereignty of Cambodia. But months after the signing of

this agreement, the Thai government has moved border marker stones into Cambodian

territory as documented by UNTAC Border Control Units final reports; it has granted

Thai companies the right to do business with the only Cambodian faction that refused

to comply with the Peace Agreement and today it is protecting those who are looting

and destroying the natural resources of Cambodia. Why the Thai double game?

The Thai government declares that it fears foreign interference in Cambodian affairs

but it requests constantly the participation of its outlaw Khmer Rouge friends in

the Cambodian government. Why the Thai double game?

Thai law prohibits foreigners from owning land. But Bangkok is now calling the legitimate

Cambodian authorities "renegades" when they try to create a legal status

for land ownership and to establish land ownership laws in their own country. Why

the Thai double game?

As a signatory of the Paris Peace Accords, Thailand committed to prohibiting the

use of Cambodian soil by any of the warring factions. However, its a matter of proven

fact that the Thai army continues its close cooperation with the Khmer Rouge. The

capture of the Preah Vihear temple (inaccessible from the Cambodian side) on July

7 by the Khmer Rouge, the August 1 incident at the border checkpoint CT1 where U.N.

peacekeepers were attacked by the Khmer Rouge from the Thai side and were detained

by the Khmer Rouge in Thai territory, the transfer by the Thai military of Khmer

Rouge soldiers withdrawing from Phum Chat to another Khmer Rouge zone, the refusal

by Thai authorities to give permission to former Khmer People's National Liberation

Force (KPNLF) soldiers (now joined with the new government) still in Sok San to transit

through Thailand on their way back to a government-controlled area-- all these incidents

took place not only after the signing of the Peace Accords but also after last May's

democratic elections and the establishment of a legitimate government. Why the Thai

double game?

It is impossible to deny the facts. Diplomatic sources, observations on the ground

by U.N. military observers, UNTAC reports by strategic investigation teams, statements

made by senior Khmer Rouge defectors all confirm that Thailand is providing assistance

to rebels in Cambodia.

As the Special Representative of the Secretary General Yasushi Akashi stated in a

diplomatic note on August 5 to the Thai government, this is "a breach of Article

10 and Article VII of Annex 2 of the Paris Agreement." But this is also a clear

violation of the United Nations Charter. Unfortunately for Cambodia, Thailand enjoys

very important protection in the U.N. Security Council, and the Thai government was

not blamed for these violations. As usual, unbalanced implementation of international

law by the U.N.

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