Friday, December 19, 2008

Cambodia and Thailand Border Dispute: The Real History

The Plans of Siem, Yuon, and China

Schemes of Siem, Yuon, and China 

( Cf. extracted from defaced docs of Cambodia history compiled by General Raoul Norotin, part 3) 

When Japan sent its army to make the war at Manchury in the northern of China, Mr. Tat Lat had form a communist party in Moscow of Soviet Union, named "Chinese Communist Party" in order to prepare the army force to defend the Japenese army at that time. Next, in 1930 this party had sent a general with one hand, called Lam Tachung, to form a party to be known as "Indochina Communist Party" at Tung Keong so that this party could defend French army forces in Indochina. 

Comrade Tat Lat, Mr. Mao tse Tung's teacher and the biggest chief, was that time a young revolutionist. China's goal was to form an immediate major military force in the south of China before Soviet Union sent their communist troops down to the south of the republic of China because Soviet Unions had ambition to seize the former territory of French colony. 

Afterwards in 1930 Comrade Ho Chi minh preceeded this movement and General Lam Tachung became a Vietminh military force commander.After the Geneva conference in 1954, Cambodia encounterred a number of problems because of Vietminh forces influxed illegally into Cambodia territory. Because America was aware of Soveit Union and China's tricks, America formed a new organization, called SEATO in order to assemble the forces in the south east Asia to be against the invasion of the international communists. 

Whereas Thailand,then, supported " struggle Khmer Movement " with its decieving reasons were to be against Franch colony; however, it was only for its own benifits. And it hoped that when Cambodia got indepence, the Cambodia provinces where were wanted for long time would be in its controll. 

As my study, it was viewed that the problems taking place with Siem and Yuon were endlessly always caused because these both countries mostly have updated tricks to take an advantage from Cambodia. For instance, in 1949 France administration attached the western Kosaingsin territory , where was the birthplace of Khmer Krom to the free Vietnam to prepare the forces against the influx down of the north communists. Although most of Vietnamese people lived in that territory, all kinds of Khmers considerred that attachment of territory to be illegal and unjust. In 1939 Franch designed the Ligne Brevie, as well. Franch designed this line to attach the Trol Island to touch the Kosaingsin territory for only a purpose of administrative controll without any clarification of ownership. However, afterwards Koh Trol became an exclusive ownership of Vietnam. And because of this reason, it made these both countries trouble, especially on an oil deposit territory. (cf. Summery of Cambodia History, page 55).

Vietnam designed a new map with secret without any aggreement from Cambodia party after the geneva conference in 1954, and Thailand also publisized its own map with secret after it was in failure in the lawsuit in La er in 1962. Franch worked out clearly at that time with Siem concerning the borders between Indochina and Siem. 

I would like to indicate that for long time, Cambodia has been using an internationally recognized UTM map designed by Franch and put into application in the country. 

The Thailand's map has not been consistent with French UTMmap because its purpose is to take an advantage from Cambodia territory. Likely, Yuon is not different from Siem. For the map designed by Yuon, the names of the villages, communes, districts, and provinces have been changed into the Vietnamese language sound, and some places were transferred into the Yuon names. 

These were indicated that SEDOC, the ministry of Khmer detectives led by Mr. Colenel Ek Proeung, Cambodia government and especially Khmer embassy in Thailand, did nothing after getting successful in an international base because they did not think of these change with care. How is the Khmer policy prepared to be against Vietnam and Thailand? So far, Khmers would like to get peace with the neigbouring countries but for Yuon and Siem, they think in a different way. 

Cambodia was not only influenced by China, Soviet Union, and France, but also influenced by Yuon and Siem. It was thougt and history was written that Youn and Siem always strategize to find new tactics to take an advantage from Cambodia, especially when Cambodia is facing internal conflicts. 


Figure 1. Khmer Empire during the Height of its Civilization, Before the Appearance of Siam (From Jayavarman II to Jayavarman VII) 


Cambodia was a vassal state under Siam during the reign of King Ang Duong. Cambodia had lost Battambang, Sisophon, and Siem Reap to Siam. Siam had placed spies everywhere at the court of Oudong. To get out of the Siam’s manacles, King Norodom who succeeded his father, King Ang Duong, sought out help from France. On 23 March 1907, under the reign of King Sisowath who succeeded his brother, King Norodom, France (as the protectorate of Cambodia) and Siam signed a border treaty that completed the 1904 treaty. In the 1904 treaty Siam ceded Tonlé Repou, Mlou Prey, Koh Kong, and Stung Trèng to Cambodia. The 1907 treaty subsequently produced the French- Siamese Commission 1907 Frontier Line (Figure 2), placing Preah Vihear under the control of Cambodia. The French-Siamese 1907 treaty had Siam ceded almost all Cambodia ancient territory of the 16th century back to Cambodia. The territory included Battambang, Sisophon, Siem Reap, Mongkol Borei, and Tnot (Figures 3 and 4).

Figure 3. Map of Cambodia Showing the Te rritory That Siam Ceded To France in 1907 

Figure 4. Map of Present Day Cambodia Courtesy: Official Map by the Royal Government of Cambodia Submitted to UNESCO for Preah VihearWorld Heritage List 

In spite of this agreement, Thailand contested in 1934 that the Temple of Preah Vihear belonged to her and their surveyors redrew the frontier to locate Preah Vihear in Thailand’s territory. In 1954 Thailand occupied Preah Vihear. On 6 October 1959, Cambodia, under the leadership of Prince Norodom Sihanouk, petitioned the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of the Hague, Netherlands, to rule on the dispute. By the end of the year, Thailand retaliated with a claim listing Preah Vihear as a national archeological site. On June 15, 1962, the ICJ made a judgment recognizing that the Temple of Preah Vihear belonged to Cambodia using the French-Siamese Commission 1907 Frontier Line as one of the supporting arguments (Figure 5). A satellite photo showing Preah Vihear and its surrounding region with demarcations of the frontier established by the French-Siamese Commission 1907 is presented in Figure 6. Figure 7 shows another satellite photo of Preah Vihear and the Dangrek mountain range. Thailand never protested against the verdict. However, over the years Thailand has unilaterally redrawn the map that contradicts the ICJ judgment (Figures 8- 10). 

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