Thailand’s ruling party is great at sweeping things under the rug in Thailand and let them fade away. However when it comes to international issues like the dispute over the Preah Vihear temple and the disputed border with Cambodia, they must be addressed or the fallout could be war.
Talk about the Preah Vihear temple has for the most part dropped out of the news, and Thailand’s ruling People Power Party (PPP) would love to keep it that way. It was the PPP that set this fire ablaze with the signing of an agreement with Cambodia.
Noppadon Pattama then Thailand’s Foreign Minister signed the agreement that started this dispute with Cambodia. The document was later ruled by the Thai court to have violated the Constitution in that a review was needed by parliament before signing. Noppadon’s error essentially started this whole mess. It was fairly easy to understand how Noppadon made this error. Very simply he was thinking like a lawyer and not a politician. He analyzed the situation like a lawyer and signed off on it based on a court ruling. A court had ruled the temple belonged to Cambodia and essentially was not Thai business. Noppadon resigned shortly after this debacle.
Fast forward and Cambodia does not want this swept under the carpet, and they want to bring it to closure. Reading between the lines the issue of where the border actually is has become the flash point. Cambodia and their infestation of land mines has already lead to injury along the border area. Because both sides have differing opinions as to where the border is, both countries are on the brink of war. The PPP wants to sweep this under the carpet, and the Cambodian government wants to sort this out once and for all.
Where this all will go is still uncertain and from the outside the PPP looks to stall things on technicalities. Stall, delay, postpone is what the PPP is all about when it comes to messes they cause. It does not take much to see the PPP has not only messed things up in Thailand, but now in other countries too.
The next move is up to the Cambodian government, and it seems obvious the weak position the PPP has inside Thailand, may lead to a land grab opportunity for Cambodia. The disarray and lack of ability inherent in Thaksin cronies places Cambodia in a dominant position, and there is little doubt that is why they are pushing with threat of war. If they can drive Thailand back over what Cambodia sees as the border, it adds weight to their argument when it comes down to the final agreement.