People's Alliance For Democracy
Announcement Number 2/2011, January 24, 2011
( Last edit 2011-01-30 )
Following PM Abhisit Vejjajiva's explaination on the Department of Public Relation's channel 11 television on January 23, 2011 regarding the assistance for the captured 7 Thais by armed Cambodian soldiers and further indictment and deliberation against the 7 Thais in the Cambodian court, People's Alliances for Democracy has following opinions.
1. Having investigated into the matter, PAD finds that the capture site was where Nong Jan refugee camp for Cambodian civil war refugees was allocated in Thailand since 1979. The Thai government then encircled the camp sited in Thailand with fences well away from the border, with an obvious landmark which is the pond dug by UN at the far side of the village, for supplying water to the refugees. There are a lot of evidences and alive eye-witnesses, e.g. ex-UN officers, ex-Thai military officers, ex-red cross international personnels, former officers in the National Security Council, and the Thai constructor who was contracted to dig the pond. All confirm that the pond dug by UN is Thai territory.
Therefore, from the evidences and the witnesses, the seven Thais had not reached the UN-dug pond when they were captured. The pond was dug in Thailand as the site was considered to be safe from the war. Therefore, the 7 Thais must be regarded as they were readily on Thai soil but the Thai government has never assisted the 7 Thais to use these facts to oppose Cambodia's charges.
2. PAD has interviewed witnesses and examined land deeds documents for harvesting in the neighbourhood of the border post number 46 and 47. All confirm that the 7 Thais were in Thailand. Several local villagers who own the land pieces but lost them during the establishment of refugee camps near the border post number 46 and 47, testified twice on January 5, 2011 and January 15, 2011 stating that the land deeds of So Ko1 type had been issued by the department of estate, to Thai citizens for the land which later became the pond dug by UN. It corresponds to the land belonging to Mr.Ma Ansomsri as well as the land east to the UN-dug pond which belongs to Mr.Boonjan Kestat since BE 2498 or 56 years ago.
Land owners in that area insist that the operational perimeter as PM Abhisit Vejjajiva claims and the attempt of the department of estate to falsify evidences to substantiate that their lands are within the operational perimeter do not match with facts. It is also not the border as set since 1955. Such action is putting Thailand at the risk of loosing territory and may be subjected as offensive to the criminal code articles 119 and 120 which carries a maximum penalty of death or a life imprisonment.
From the eidences above, the border posts number 46 and 47 which PM claims in reference to the operational perimeter have already been moved since Cambodian refugees moved in.
The land deeds and local on-foot localization of local villagers' estates indicate that the walking path of 7 Thais does not reach the UN pond which is still within Thailand. Thefore, the 7 Thais must be regarded as readily on Thai soil. Nevertheless, the Thai government has never provided these facts to the 7 Thais to defend against the Cambodia's charges.
3. PM Abhisit has not materialistically objected charges in the Cambodia's court which is the implication of the soveriegnty within Thai territory which is still under dispute, despite that PM Abhisit had declared on 30 December 2010, "No matter where in any territory the 7 Thais were arrested, they should be immediately released on the ground that there is an agreement by both atadministrative level that incidences like this should not be brought to the court proceedings." Moreover, all 7 Thais were not armed. Therefore, without objections from Thai government, the incidence proves the Cambodia's violation of the agreement since Cambodia uses armed force and her court jurisdiction within Thai territory or in disputable territory.
4. Government officers and politicians have publicly declared messages which have defamed 7 Thais all along
Mr.Suthep Tuaksuban, the deputy PM; Mr.Kasit Pirom, Foreign Minister; Gen.Pravit Wongsuwan, Defense Minister; foreign ministry's and defense ministry's officers, Mr. Sanit Naksuksri, the governor of Sra-Kaew province, all said that the 7 Thais had tresspassed into Cambodia. There has been persuasion to convince the 7 Thais to accept Cambodian's court jurisdiction. The request and rushing Cambodian Court to pass the verdicts are all acceptance of Cambodian's court jurisdiction which Cambodia can further claim as a legitimate agreement for Cambodian's sovereignty over that piece of land and negatively inflicting against the 7 Thais.
In fact, the sites of the genuine border posts number 46 and 47 are not settled between Thai and Cambodia and have not been approved by the House of Parliament as stipulated by the 2007 constitution article 190. It is therefore a violation of the 7 Thais and Criminal code articles 119, 120, 128, and 129 which carry a penalty of a life imprisonment. This includes the evening broadcasted explaination of PM Abhisit Vejjajiva on January 23, 2011 saying that the 7 Thais had crossed the operational line of Thailand, which did not present the other facts in favour of the 7 Thais. It certainly damages the national dignity in that it allows Cambodia to claim as a conventional agreement for future Cambodia's jurisdiction over Thai territory or disputable areas as well a with the remaining 2 Thais facing Cambodia's indictment. Other Thais may also be arrested in the same manner in the future.
5. The Thai government cannot claim that the verdicts to punish the 7 Thais are separate from the territory issue because the charges are that the 7 Thais' trespassing into Cambodia. If the Thai government only opposes or protests the Cambodian court's verdict, it would be only a backward palliative measure which would not be a cure.
More importantly, "Thailand has not officially denied Cambodian's court jurisdiction on Thai territory or disputable territory".
As a result, 5 Thais were unjustaly sentenced to jail by the Cambodian court while the remaining 2 Thais would be endangered for severe charges and unfair charges of espionage from that basis of trespassing the Cambodian border.
Should the Thai government had objected and put pressure against the Cambodian jurisdiction by claiming that the 7 Thais were within Thai territory under dispute, then the remaining 2 Thais would not be subjected to epionage charges. Instead, PM Abhisit Vejjajiva only said that the cases only include the plaints and the defendants, without denying, opposing or pressuring against the Cambodian sovereignty through the court authority to sentence the 7 Thais all throughout. By that, it would further jeopardize the remaining 2 Thais.
6.Thailand has practically lost the sovereignty over the area around the border posts number 46, 47 because of MOU 2000. From the video footage of the 7 Thais' walking path, Thai citizens have not been able to cultivate on their own lands because of one-sided Cambodian settlements and occupation of Cambodian soldiers. Article 5 of MOU 2000 states that during the survey and before final border post settlement, there must be no alteration of the environment. This puts Cambodia in the advantageous position since if Cambodia does not win the negotiation, Cambodia would claim this article and let Cambodian occupants to unlimitedly stay on in Thai territorries. Their Cambodian communities would relentlessly expand. Furthermore, the expression of sovereignty through the exercise of Cambodian armed force is in constrast with the disarmament of Thai border polices on entrance. Together with the exercise of court jurisdiction, therefore, Thailand has obviously and practically lost the sovereignty over the area.
7. Thai government has expressed weaknesses through the failure to solve simple matters such as the inscription stone saying that Thai soldiers had invaded Cambodian territory at Wat Kaew Sikakirisawara. It also shows failure of MOU 2000 since the article 8 of MOU 2000 states that any disputes must be resolved by peaceful means and without military force to expel. Cambodia arrogantly exploits the advantage over Thailand, invading, occupying, constructing to show off the practical sovereignty over Thai territory and to declare that the land belongs to Cambodia. The construction of the road from Cambodia into Thailand to the Pra Viharn Temple, the construction of a temple, a market, a community and the inscription stone defaming Thailand as well as the single-sided raising of the Cambodian's national flag at Wat Kaew Sikakirisawara whereas Thai soldiers have already retreated from Wat Kaew Sikakirisawara, can be considered as a practical lost of sovereignty of the Thai territory.
8. If MOU 2000 is cancelled, we can defend the sovereignty just like how our ancestors successfully did in the past which is not always by war because the our negotiation power is superior through the back-up by military force. It can lead to a negotiation to make a new MOU eg. MOU 2011 which would get rid of all Thai's disadvantages.
People's Alliances for Democracy
January 24, 2011