Sunday, February 24, 2008
Editorial by Khmerization
Originally posted at http://khmerization.blogspot.com
“In the past, Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Cambodian People’s Party cohorts have always asked for evidence whenever there are claims of border encroachments by our neighbours … To ask for evidence every time someone reported about the border encroachments is like the police blaming someone for not catching the criminals when they reported about crimes. Ridiculous and irresponsible!“
Every time I read about border agreements with Vietnam, a question has always popped up in my mind: will Cambodia lose any lands in those agreements? (Click here to read the article).
The recurring problems of border issues with our neighbours, particularly the two powerful neighbours, Thailand and Vietnam, have scared many Cambodians. Cambodia seemed to have no border problems with our less powerful neighbour, Laos. This shows that Laos has never encroached on Cambodian lands because it is less powerful than Cambodia- scared of Cambodia, if I can use this term. Likewise, Laos has never complained about Cambodia encroaching into her borders.
On the contrary, Cambodia’s recurring and persistent border problems with her two powerful neighbours indicated that Cambodia had always been encroached by these neighbours. And any border talks or agreements had always seen Cambodia conceded or even seceded parts of her lands to these neighbours.
Before the present government took power in 1979, Cambodia have never had any border issues with her neighbours. Cambodia has never had any “overlapping areas”, the so-called “white areas” or “dombon Sor” in Khmer. Presently, there are many “overlapping areas” along the borders with Vietnam and Thailand, including on our maritime borders. In many cases, the “overlapping areas” are in fact Cambodian lands. And as a result Cambodia has to share her natural gas and oil resources with Vietnam and Thailand.
Cambodia’s borders with her neighbours should have been settled once and for all since the period of the French Protectorate in Cambodia. Cambodia’s borders with Thailand have been delimited and demarcated in the 1907 border agreements between the royal government of Thailand and the French Protectorate in Cambodia. And Cambodia’s borders with Vietnam and Laos have been settled by the French Protectorate Authority before they left Indochina in 1953-1954. So, the border issues should never have been a problem at all between Cambodia and her neighbours.
The fact that the problems have occurred and recurred continually meant that Cambodia’s borders have been encroached and encroached on a larger scale by our two powerful neighbours.
People do not have to ask for evidence. In the past, Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Cambodian People’s Party cohorts have always asked for evidence whenever there are claims of border encroachments by our neighbours. To find out exactly the evidence, the prime minister and his cohorts must travel to the border areas that have been encroached and physically examined them, using the maps that Cambodia had kept at the United Nations and by asking the villagers on the grounds. To ask for evidence every time someone reported about the border encroachments is like the police blaming someone for not catching the criminals when they reported about crimes. Ridiculous and irresponsible!