The border scheme and the controversial map between Cambodia and Vietnam

Recalling the Scheme:

Recently, the scene of Cambodia politics has shifted from violence-pro activities orchestrated by the Prime Minister’s Cabinet towards discussing sensitive issue each competitive political party is

Courtesy: Phnom Penh Post in Khmer Language
Courtesy: Phnom Penh Post in Khmer Language

challenging to draw attention from the public for election support. As the matter of fact, CNRP has been cornered by Prime Minister Hun Sen in many aspects: after CNRP MPs entered the Parliament building, the “culture of dialogue” was promoted between Hun Sen and Sam Rainsy by leaving Khem Sokha in limbo; but while this approach is not meaningful for Hun Sen, the violence habit did occur instantly such as pro-CPP violent demonstrators to oust Khem Sokha from first vice president of the Assembly, and the severe physical attack on two CNRP MP members namely Nhay Chamroeun and Kong Sophea; the use of court to convict and jail both top leaders: Sam Rainsy and Khem Sokha, and the continual measures to tightening the politics of threat towards all CNRP’s members.

While the political misbehaviour of Prime Minister and his Cabinet has been unable to be checked by the State’s institution, the mischievous actions don’t translate righteousness to Prime Minister at all in order to maintain his long term political career on behalf of CPP party chief as well as in front of millions of Cambodian voters who have been concerting towards “change” for this country through the power of “ballot”.

Engagement between the Youngs and the Olds in Cambodia:

Courtesy: Cambodia Daily
Courtesy: Cambodia Daily

While the technical issue of map has longed of its disarray on the border demarcation between Cambodia and Vietnam, as now it is appearing for a public stunt, the disclosure of private conversation between Hun Sen and Thy Sovantha aka petite advisor Prime Minister called during whatsapp chatting, has significantly overhauled the violence’s status quo and it has likely been attempted to be forgotten. The chatting was uncertain at the beginning but after more leaks have come to the public especially the chatting between Thy Sovantha with Hun Manith, son of Hun Sen who is holding special position in the government as FBI-like department, to organize force to topple and humiliate opposition’s leaders unlawfully, the online childish-like chit-chatting is assumed genuine. Through those lengthy chit-chatting, one could summarize the topics are from personal health check, to family members linkage, to plans of toppling and intimidating opponents, and to disbursing one million of dollars to cover up Thy Sovantha’s assigned tasks etc.

What is intriguing for the public and Cambodian observers is the chit-chatting between grandpa and grandchild sounds non-serious, nonsensical, and miscellaneously. But the outcomes from such miscellaneous has surely shivered the opponents on prospective violence that have been running unchecked by the State. As the secrete has embodied to the public, the action plans from this unlawful activity might be undeterred, and the youngs are visibly exploited by the olds at the highest.

Cambodia’s Border Scheme through lens of the Pragmatists, the Conservationists, and the Whistle-blowers:

Courtesy: RFA Khmer Service
Courtesy: RFA Khmer Service

After listening to RFA in Khmer services for their “call-in-show-forum” program (as recorded in youtube here), listeners might be serious, entertained, or sitting idle as usual. The five guests have expressed their diverse opinions among one is representing government (sic), and other four are representing non-governmental citizens; unfortunately, we didn’t have one official representation of the government to the show. With explicit ardent interrogative questions from the host, Mr. Chun Chanbot, Sam Rainsy who is president of the CNRP has exhibited his pragmatism into the issue more than other elses. His approach to always anticipating “dialogue” to keep the flame alive over all sensitive issues within Cambodian contexts. His firm stance on protecting Cambodia interests doesn’t mean he must reject other alternative scenarios.

The border’s scheme between Cambodia and Vietnam, like it or not, it has become a play full of fever audience, screaming, exploitation, and deadly consequences. For static conservationists, the great past of Cambodia must be revitalized while their actions and plans are not tabled to discuss on how and when we are going to achieve it. For whistle-blowers, the noisy street talkers are usual in their daily business, while the doers are always facing searing deadlock. As a leader of more than half of total country-population voters, Sam Rainsy has scrupulously stepped ahead many steps to ensure the boat is vital leading to “ballot” power in 2017 and 2018. In short, the triggering scenario from Prime Minister must be attentively conveyed although we don’t know how much PM has seriously studied on such proposal, but it is a politics which means so much on its consistent changing moment to always anchor the momentum. The agreement between Cambodia and Vietnam to propose legal map from France government to judge on all odds of border demarcation irregularities between the two states is heard from government’s rhetoric, but till today we have not seen any public note or transparency from such agreement. If government’s border-related department don’t disclose the agreement to officially request map from France, and if none of the other Cambodian parties have joint this task-force, the business of border politics is not different from those static conservationists and street talkers.

Cambodia needs a “complete one-package framework” to solve border scheme as well as to alter borderline politicization that has always hindered sustainable growth of Cambodia.

Hun Sen asks UN for help on Vietnam problem

Hun Sen asks UN for help on Vietnam problem

Mon, 6 July 2015

hun_sen_and_ban_ki-moonPrime Minister Hun Sen yesterday wrote to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon requesting access to the original, constitutionally mandated maps of Cambodia, saying he wanted to end the “extreme nationalism” whipped up by the opposition over the Vietnam border.

The request came as a Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker announced plans for a 10,000-strong march on a disputed patch of border in Svay Rieng, the scene of a violent clash between a CNRP-led group and Vietnamese authorities on June 28.

In the letter, dated yesterday, Hun Sen asks to borrow the original Bonne maps, scale 1/100,000, which were developed between 1933 and 1955 by French colonial authorities and deposited by late King Norodom Sihanouk with the UN in 1964.

Noting Sihanouk’s efforts to ensure the Kingdom’s borders were internationally respected, Hun Sun tells Ban Ki-moon the government needs the maps to “verify” its ongoing demarcation process.

The premier also said he sought the maps in a bid to “end the incitement of extreme nationalism” by “some quarters” in Cambodia, which “may lead to catastrophe”, a pointed reference to the CNRP’s recent push to highlight alleged encroachment by Vietnam.

He notes Cambodia’s “wellbeing”, “territorial integrity and sovereignty” and “the cause of peace and stability in the region”, among reasons for requesting cooperation.

The opposition has long accused the government of using maps developed with Vietnam during its occupation of the Kingdom in the 1980s to demarcate the border, which they say cedes Cambodian territory, instead of the French-developed ones cited in the constitution.

The CNRP has highlighted examples of alleged Vietnamese encroachment into Cambodia in Ratanakkiri, Kandal and Svay Rieng provinces, prompting official protests to Hanoi.

Continue reading “Hun Sen asks UN for help on Vietnam problem”

Cambodia asks for original maps from UN to verify border line with Vietnam

Cambodia asks for original maps from UN to verify border line with Vietnam

Monday, 06 July 2015; News by Xinhua

Op-Ed: Xinhua

PHNOM PENH, July 6 (Xinhua) — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday requested all original maps deposited at the United Nations to verify the authenticity of maps the government is using to demarcate border line with its neighboring countries.
Letter to UN to request original map 3In a letter sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Hun Sen said, “I’d like to request Your Excellency Secretary General to allow the Royal Government of Cambodia to borrow all original maps kept at the United Nations.”
The move came after the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party repeatedly accused the government of using the maps drawn by the Vietnamese during its occupation in the 1980s.
Hun Sen said the request for the original maps is to show the scrupulousness and righteousness of the Cambodian government in delimiting and demarcating borders between Cambodia and her neighbors.
It is also “to avoid and to end the incitement of extreme nationalism and ill-intention to cause confusion within national and international public opinions in order to make political gains by some quarters in Cambodia that may lead to catastrophe to the whole Cambodian nation,” he said.
According to the prime minister, late King Norodom Sihanouk deposited the Bonne map, scale 1/100,000, published by the Indochina Geographical Service and internationally recognized between 1963 and 1969 at the United Nations.
Border dispute between Cambodia and Vietnam flared in recent months after the opposition party lawmakers and activists inspected border line and clashed twice with Vietnamese security personnel and civilians.

Continue reading “Cambodia asks for original maps from UN to verify border line with Vietnam”

The scheme of borderline politics of Cambodia

Letter to UN to request original map 3This the 6th of July 2015, Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, wrote a letter to Ban Ki Moon, secretary general of the United Nations, to request the original copy of map Cambodia deposited since 1963 while this country became legal member of the UNs.

Beside of requesting the map to correctly demarcate the borderline of Cambodia with neighboring countries, the letter is directly wording  “extremism and opportunist for political gain..etc” within its content.

This wording is not at ease at all as recently opposition MPs, youths, Letter to UN to request original map 1monks and farmers made several trips to the problematic checkpoints at the border between Cambodia and Vietnam. Among those violent resistances of Vietnamese people and authority, the spraying of toxic liquid destroying the Cambodian farmlands, the violence clashed in Svay Rieng, and the arresting and detaining one night of a teacher who took his students to study-trip at the border, are very outstanding.

Nonetheless, opposition leader Sam Rainsy and Hun Sen have likely made it Letter to UN to request original map 2clearer and clearer to the Cambodian people and the international communities that:

  • The border schemes between Cambodia and neighboring countries are not opportunistic for political gain, but it is the national issue that require concerted effort to solve it.
  • The new political mean of dialogue and culture of dialogue both leaders have crafted and assured the public shall emerge as the effective mean to prioritizing national interest regarding this troublesome border demarcation.
  • National unity is essential for Cambodia in order to handle with the stronger and more populated neighboring countries.
  • Cambodia should establish a new mechanism and new body of border committee to draw trust and transparency among the public.
  • Cambodia is seeking multilateral talk with Vietnam and Thailand, if bilateral talk remains arbitrary.
  • Cambodia is seeking the intervention of the UNs, the ICJ, and the signatory countries of the Paris Peace Agreement in October 23, 1991, if it is necessary.