PM and Minister of Defence Somchai Wongsawat said that we want to resume the bilateral talk between Thailand and Cambodia on the border dispute row. He said Thailand foreign minister will meet his Cambodian counterpart in New York during UN general assembly to told talk about this issue.
Also, the appointment of General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh as a security Deputy Prime Minister gives much hope on the issue since Gen Chavalit has a strong tie with many Cambodian General and high-ranking government officer because Gen Chavalit used to play an important role during the civil war in Cambodia.
And last week, Army chief Anupong Paojinda visits the headquaters of the Suranaree taks force, the primary unit that dealing with this issue, to cheer up his fellow and collect all information on Ta Moan Tom and Ta Kwai temple. He also board the aircraft to see the dispute area. He said he will foward all information to the Government.
Finally, The Phnom Penh Post reports that Royal Cambodia Air Force (RCAF) accuses Thailand sent its spy plane to observe Cambodian Troop near Ta Moan Tom temple. Surely, Thailand denys this. In my opinion, The Cambodians may think that Gen Anupong’s aircraft is the spy plane that violating its airspace because he fly near the border to ‘observe’ the dispute area. 200 meters can misunderstood them.
Govt ‘not party’ to peace talks
Southerners, Samak adviser meet in Bogor
BANGKOK POST AND AGENCIES
A fresh dialogue called in a bid to end the southern unrest was held in Indonesia over the weekend but the Thai government says it is not involved.
The talks were mediated by Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla at the Presidential Palace in Bogor, presidential spokesman Dino Patti Djalal said.
He said five representatives from the deep South and negotiators from Bangkok attended the two-day meeting, which ended yesterday.
He did not identify the southerners, but said the Bangkok delegation included Kwanchart Klaharn, a former Fourth Army commander. In February, Gen Kwanchart was appointed by cabinet as an adviser to then-defence minister Samak Sundaravej.
Gen Kwanchart is thought to be among the names put forward for the defence portfolio in Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat’s new cabinet line-up, if Mr Somchai decides not to concurrently take the post.
However, Foreign Ministry spokesman Tharit Charungvat said the government was not involved in any talks in Indonesia and it had not asked Jakarta to act as a mediator.
“We did not send any representatives to Indonesia,” Mr Tharit said.
“Our position is that the situation in the South is an internal conflict and we will not set up any talks with the militants.”
Mr Kalla met the delegations one after the other in a corridor separating the palace’s Bung Karno meeting room and library, Antara news agency reported. The Bangkok delegation, which had been waiting in the right wing room, entered the corridor first and shook hands with Mr Kalla. Minutes later, the delegation from the South entered the corridor from the left wing room and also shook hands with him.
Representatives were asked by Mr Kalla to “shake hands with one another before talking”.
The event was observed by scholars from Indonesia’s Paramadina University and Indonesian ambassador to Thailand Mohammad Hatta.
A senior army officer told Issara news agency the talks grew out of cooperation between Thailand and Indonesia on tackling the insurgency.
“Mr Kalla talked about the issue with former prime minister Samak when he made an official visit to Indonesia early this year,” he said.
It is expected that Jakarta’s success in securing a permanent ceasefire in Aceh would be a model for Thailand to solve the insurgency in the far South. In June this year, cabinet assigned the Interior Ministry and the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre to study the solution in Aceh.
Earlier this year, former army chief and Ruam Jai Thai Chart Pattana leader Gen Chettha Thanajaro, a former defence minister, was criticised after he announced a joint ceasefire with a group called Thailand United Southern Underground, claiming to represent 11 separatist groups in the region.
Army officials and security experts dismissed the ceasefire as a publicity stunt, and the violence did not stop.
Srisompob Chitpiromsri, director of the Songkhla-based Southern Watch Centre, yesterday called on the government to release more information about the talks.
“My worry is the rebel group at the talks has no direct involvement in the southern violence,” he said.
Pattani Islamic Committee chairman Waedueramae Mamingi said he had not been informed of the weekend’s talks.
“It will give hope to villagers in the area,” he said.
His province encountered the most cases of daily violence last month, according to the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4.
In August, 45 people were killed and 136 injured in the violence.
Army to forward info on border dispute to govt
Army chief Anupong Paochinda has visited the northeastern province bordering Cambodia to gather information on the simmering border dispute for a revised situation report to pave the way for the new government work to solve the problem.
Gen Anupong went to the Suranaree Task Force headquarters in the northeastern province of Surin to gather information concerning Thailand and Cambodia’s border frictions in order to propose solutions to the new government.
Affirming that confrontation is not good for either country, Gen Anupong urged bilateral cooperation between Thailand and Cambodia as the best option, while arguing that the Thailand’s refusal to redeploy border troops away from the contended zones, attacked in the Cambodian media, was due to Thai law and the government’s orders.
The army chief indicated further the current situation is not worrisome, especially relations between Thai and Cambodian local officials, as both parties are in regular communication.
Thailand and its neighbours must have good relationships with each other, for both must depend on one another in terms of economic or social aspects. The border dispute must be ended peacefully by respecting the rights and laws of both countries.
Concerning the border demarcation, Gen Anupong said he will leave the issue to both countries’ demarcation committees.
Meanwhile, Supreme Commander Boonsang Niempradit stated in an interview before leaving for his retirement farewell at the Armed Academics Preparatory School in Nakhon Nayok that the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters had already prepared up-to-date map data for tackling Thailand’s border dispute.
Cambodia and Thailand are scheduled to resume talks about their borders next Monday, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. Bilateral meetings over the issue were postponed in late August amid anti-government street protests in Thailand.
Newly-appointed Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat plans to visit neighbouring Cambodia next month, premier Hun Sen said Friday. The visit was planned for October 13, but Mr. Hun Sen did not say whether he and Mr Somchai would discuss the border issues at several ancient temples along their border that earlier led to a weeks-long military standoff. (TNA)
Anupong to Chavalit: Be very cautious
Wassana Nanuam and MUHAMMAD AYUB PATHAN
Army chief Anupong Paojinda has suggested Deputy Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh handle national security with great care to avoid complicating matters further.
Gen Anupong said he has no idea how wide the scope of Gen Chavalit’s responsibilities will be when security is put in his hands, but his past experience and long military career would be of use.
In the new administration, Gen Chavalit, former prime minister and former army chief, will to be responsible for national security, deep South violence and the border dispute with Cambodia because of his cordial relations with Cambodian leaders.
“To ensure security policy is successful, personal feelings should be put aside. To the army, any attempt to cause serious friction is out of the question,” Gen Anupong said.
To political observers, Gen Chavalit offers much hope for a resolution to the border dispute as his close ties might oil the wheels of negotiations and put an end to the stand-off.
Gen Anupong recently went to Surin province to visit the latest disputed area, Ta Kwai Hindu temple, known as Ta Krabey in Cambodia, and prepare relevant information to help the government in future talks.
Considering the current border situation, the army chief said there is no cause for alarm. Gen Anupong said he has not been informed when Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat and Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat will visit the disputed area.
Asked about Cambodian media reports that he was indifferent to government policy on the dispute, he said there was nothing personal and he was doing his best to fulfil his duty.
The Cambodian press recently suggested the army chief was unresponsive towards the government policy relating to troop withdrawal from the disputed areas.
Violence in the far South continued when a grocer was shot and wounded in Yala’s Raman district on Thursday.
Police said Paozi Alee, 30, received serious gunshot wounds after two gunmen opened fire on him at his shop.