As the dispute over the Preah Vihear temple takes shape in the international gene pool of right and wrong, it appears Cambodia has the dominant genes. With Cambodia’s desire to involve other countries including the United Nations, it shows a level of confidence Thailand lacks.
To look at Thailand’s position you first must remember that Thailand’s ruling party the People Power Party (PPP) is completely self serving as well as being dysfunctional. It’s own error by not following Thailand’s constitution has lead to the Preah Vihear mess. Assuming nothing else than trying to save it’s face as well as ass, you begin to understand why Thailand opposes the involvement of other countries.
Although the border dispute has been going on long before the PPP stepped into office in early 2008, past Thai governments saw they were on the losing side and wisely only made occasional small noises pertaining to the issue. Even the now disgraced former Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama who started all of this saw it with the eyes of a lawyer and concluded his signing of a document has no effect on Thailand. However the signing itself without first consulting parliament was a violation of the new Thai Constitution and became political fuel to attack the PPP. Once Cambodia had Noppadon’s signature, they could care less about what happened inside Thailand’s political arena.
It seems there is a very good possibility that the Cambodians took full advantage of this dysfunctional Thai government to push through it’s own agenda on the Preah Vihear temple. If that is the case, other countries may be lining up to apply the P.T. Barnum school of …. well you know.
Much of what is going on is driven by Thai pride but seemingly has little legal support in they eyes of the world, and that is why Cambodia is so confident in bringing in other countries to resolve the issue. The hopes and desires of the Thai’s to be right seems only to exist on a past face saving exercise that is only makeup on an ugly reality. It is that makeup that has kept things calm between Cambodia and Thailand until Noppadon’s pen cut through the mascara. Now the ugly possible reality that the land in question is part of Cambodia is once again exposed for the Thai people to see.
The PPP hopes to recapture the bullet Noppadon fired before it comes to rest, however there seems only a fleeting chance of that. Thailand’s hopes ride on Noppadon’s signature being viewed as illegal in the world’s eyes. Other than that there is not much more in the Thai legal arsenal.
As the possibility that the United Nations Security Counsel will get involved further puts Thailand at odds with reality. There is a real possibility Thai pride may take a huge hit when all of this finally comes to an end. No matter how you seem to cut it, one or more Thais are going to take a hit for losing what the Thais see as Thai soil, and or even being stupid enough to let this start. At the moment the PPP seems to be in the cross hairs and there is not much they can do about it. It could get really ugly for the PPP to the extent that could get lynched and killed if this all goes south. Nature does have it’s way about cleaning house.
The latest reply from the PPP is they plan to wait for general elections to conclude in Cambodia over the next few days. They suspect there may be some easing of position by the new Cambodian government lineup.
For map view of the disputed area click here