Thailand is not keen on settling border disputes amicably and mutually, but on Thailand's terms. Thailand has consistently reiterated that it will only agree to negotiate based on maps unilaterally drawn by Thailand. In other words, Thailand will not settle the current border disputes with Cambodia if Cambodia does not allow Thailand to keep the territories it had claimed and occupied to date. So, is peace and a border solution possible between Cambodia and Thailand in the future?
Thailand's insistence on the use of maps drawn by itself, without Cambodia's agreement, is against the spirit of good neighbourly respect and contrary to international laws. Those maps have no legal basis under international laws.
If the 1904, 1907 maps are not used, it would be a betrayal of the treaties and a tragedy, as it will set a precedent that triggers future violations of subsequent [border] treaties.
So, if Thailand is insisting on using the maps unilaterally drawn by Thailand itself, will there ever be an agreement and peace at all?
If that is the case, is there any room for Cambodia to manoeuvre in the negotiations?
If Thailand does not conform to international laws by accepting the internationally-recognised treaties of 1904, 1907, the Khmer-Thai border disputes will become a quagmire and result in future deadly armed conflicts, similar to what already happened on October 15.
That would be a tragedy in Khmer-Thai relations. Not one single country, but both countries, will lose from these insignificant and petty disputes.
Cabramatta, NSW, Australia
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