So much for the faith in a peaceful ASEAN community where states don’t need to have defence capabilities. An EU-like peaceful coalition is still not in sight. Goes to show that Singapore needs some tooth and claw too as neighbours can go berserk into low intensity skirmishes anytime over issues of territoriality or arm-twisting. In this case where the entrance to the Cambodian tourist-dollar cash cow temple is in Thai territory. The UN does have a warped sense of humour sometimes when they designated the historical temple Cambodian.
Thailand And Cambodia Have Only Clashes, Not War: Thai DPM
February 10, 2011 15:32 PM
BANGKOK, Feb 10 (Bernama) – Thai Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban insisted Thursday that the ongoing tension along the Thai-Cambodian border was the result of clashes between Thai and Cambodian border troops, not a war, reports Thai News Agency (TNA).
Suthep, who oversees national security, dismissed Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s remarks that Thailand and Cambodia are at war, saying that there were only clashes along the Thai-Cambodian border.
In response to reports that Hun Sen refused to negotiate with Thailand and wanted a third-party to mediate, Suthep said that the Cambodian premier’s stance appeared to be a diplomatic move to gain an advantage over Thailand, affirming that the Thai government would like to restore peace and contain border disputes with neighbouring Cambodia, and that Thailand has shown the firm position to the world community.
Regarding Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya recent remarks that Cambodia is a bully boy, Suthep noted that the Thai minister had to make a public response and communicate clearly that Thailand neither started the clashes, nor wanted to invade Cambodia.
Asked if Thailand is ready to testify before the United Nations Security Council simultaneously with Cambodia on February 14, the Thai deputy premier said he believed that the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs is ready to and capable of presenting facts to other parties, and that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and the United Nations will realise facts in the near future.
Meanwhile, Cambodian media have reported that Premier Hun Sen has prepared a long-term strategy to fight against Thailand, announcing that the strategic plan will be implemented for years.