ASEAN Defense: Barbed Wire Goes Up on Thai Cambodian Border with Both Sides Up Military Presence

With love to both Siamese cats and Khmer cats

  • by Stingray, this blog national security journalist

The Thai military put up barbed wire at several disputed points between Thailand and Cambodia, and both sides have re-enforced their military positions with thousands of soldiers and heavy weaponry, said intelligence sources to this blog.

  • “Cambodia had moved in about 10 tanks and 20 medium range artillery pieces and about 3,000 soldiers at Ta Tom Khmer relics area that Cambodia claims belongs to it, going head on against Thailand claims,” said the source.
  • Thailand have also increased it readiness, at Ta Tom, with troops and armored personal carriers and fast light tanks,” said the source.

The Thai army had denied access to journalist to the area, while journalist enjoyed freedom of access on the Cambodian side.

The Cambodian prime minister, Hun Sen, made an attempt to visit the relics earlier, but was told that his body guards would have to lay down their arms. Hun Sen, refused to comply and canceled the visit, in what the Thai press terms “Running Away Scared.”

  • The dispute at Ta Tom, had spilled to other disputed areas, said the intelligence source, where both Cambodia and Thailand are fortifying their positions in several places.

Hun Sen followed that cancellation, with a blistering attack on Thailand’s prime minister, Abhisit. That caused an outraged in the Thai press.

The Thai Cambodian border, is considered a wild frontier of Cambodia, where Cambodian government officials, seldom venture. Hun Sen’s visit to the border area, was the first in a long-time. Most diplomatic observer said the visit is for internal Cambodian consumption, where Hun Sen had been criticized about Cambodia’s policy towards its Vietnam border.

Hun Sen followed the verbal barrage, saying he plans to petition the World Court, on Ta Tom and other relics. That follows a petition to Google Map, to re-border the map’s border lines, between Thailand and Cambodia.

Thailand’s foreign minister, Kasit, who called Hun Sen, a “Cheap Thug” years earlier, called on the Thai government to keep a hard-line on Cambodia. Yet rumors had surfaced that many of civil servant in the Thai foreign ministry have tendered their resignation-balked by the hard-line position of Kasit, on most issues.

Un-confirmed reports now say that much of ASEAN are now officially on Cambodia’s side. ASEAN is the association of countries in the region, that is attempting to form a community-along European lines.

The original point of contention between Thailand and Cambodia stems from the World Court ruled belongs to Cambodia, Phra Viharn Khmer relics, that the Thais rejected World Heritage status.  That blocked efforts by the Thais is getting a renewed pushed by Cambodia-at the UN’s World Heritage body in about 2 weeks.

  • The again expected Thai rejection, would likely raise temperature between Thailand and Cambodia.

The Thai rejects of the status relates to a small track of land in the area that is hotly contested by Thailand and Cambodia, where Cambodia had built a settlement. That track of land saw the Yellow Shirt, a nationalistic extremist group of Thais to go stage a protest. The protest clashed with other Thais who wanted normal relations with Cambodia. Many Thais got hurt in that clash.

The Thai government is making a call for Thais not to protest the area again-with police and military blockade of access to the area.

The Thais argues that a Heritage status, would legitimize Cambodia’s claim to that small track.

The intelligence source said the situation could heat up with flash conflict points.

“There could be eruptions, but the conflict at this point will most likely be a controlled-type. However, the point to watch is Cambodia, because if Hun Sen does anything major, such as large mobilizations or massive tanks movements-that will certainly say Hun Sen is ready for a much larger conflict,” said the intelligence source.

  • Concerning high-level Thai and Cambodian military relations-the intelligence source said it was close and cordial-however, before when they meet, they left their arms behind, but now when they meet, they all carry arms.

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