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Preah Vihear Temple: Abhisit calls on "Thai MPs" to vote against PM
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    Preah Vihear Temple: Abhisit calls on "Thai MPs" to vote against PM

    Abhisit calls on "Thai MPs" to vote against PM
    By Yossawadee Hongthong
    The Nation

    Opposition Leader Abhisit Vejjajiva on Monday called on "all members of Parliament who are Thai" to vote against Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama for abusing their constitutional powers involving the Preah Vihear Temple.

    Abhisit, who is also the Democrat Party leader, said Samak and Noppadon had exceeded their authority under Article 190 of the Constitution, which would have an impact on Thailand's sovereignty.

    The foreign minister has signed a communiqu with Cambodia over that country's map of the Preah Vihear compound, which was presented as part of its bid to register the ancient temple as a World Heritage site. The Thai Cabinet endorsed the agreement.

    The government insisted that because the agreement would not result in changes to Thailand's territorial area, it did not need to seek approval from Parliament, as required by Article 190.

    Samak and Noppadon are among eight Cabinet members to be targeted by the opposition in the censure debate, which is scheduled to begin today. The targeted Cabinet members are all from the People Power Party (PPP).

    "I hope that all Thai MPs will show their distrust of the prime minister and the foreign minister. And I ask all Thai MPs to be openminded and listen to the opposition's information, so that they will realise what to do next," Abhisit said.

    "I am sure the opposition has convincing proof to show that damage has been done," he told a press conference at the Democrat Party headquarters.

    Abhisit also accused Samak of lying by saying during his Sunday's talk programme a Thai team of lawyers, led by the late former premier MR Seni Pramoj, had accepted Cambodia's map that showed the Preah Vihear Temple was on Cambodian soil. Samak blamed this on the International Court of Justice ruling in 1962, which favoured Cambodia in the court battle for the Khmer ruins.

    The opposition leader also disputed the premier's claim that the Democrat Party was secretly supporting the ongoing street protests by the antigovernment People's Alliance for Democracy. He said the party had nothing to do with the PAD.

    "On many occasions, the PAD people have criticised the Democrat Party when they addressed the crowd. They have the right to do so," Abhisit said.

    He also disagreed with Samak's description of the PAD as "a roadside gang".

    "I don't view the PAD, or any other group that exercise their constitutional rights, as a roadside gang. They are Thai people who are just exercising the rights they are entitled to," Abhisit said.

    Meanwhile, Democrat spokesman Ongart Klampaiboon said that the opposition had not targeted Cabinet members from other coalition parties because they have not been involved with any mismanagement or irregularities.

    "If in the future, any minister from other coalition parties commits mistakes involving their job, they will face a censure motion," the spokesman said.

    The prime minister has claimed that the nonPPP Cabinet ministers were spared in the hope that their parties would join a Democratled coalition government.

    In a related development, House Speaker Chai Chidchob said yesterday he believed two days would be sufficient for the censure debate. Voting will take place on Thursday morning, he said.

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    Re: Abhisit calls on "Thai MPs" to vote against PM

    Senators to submit letter of opposition over Preah Vihear's registration to Unesco Tuesday


    A group of senators will submit their letter to Unesco Tuesday to express their opposition to Cambodia's registration of Preah Vihear as a world heritage site.

    He said the senators would submit the letter at 11 am to voice opposition to the registration on ground that the Thai government had not consulted its Parliament before endorsing the registration.

    The Nation

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    Re: Abhisit calls on "Thai MPs" to vote against PM




    CLOSED

    Daily Xpress

    Cambodia says it's concerned for the safety of its citizens near the controversial Preah Vihear. So unless Thailand guarantees their safety, it will keep the temple...

    Cambodia yesterday shut down the controversial Hindu temple of Preah Vihear to visitors as residents of northeastern Si Sa Ket province staged a protest.
    Some 500 people have held a protest since June 22 accusing the Cabinet of endorsing Cambodian sovereignty over the temple after the government supported Cambodia's proposal to apply for it to become a world heritage site.
    They also demanded that the Cambodian community be removed from the area.

    The gate of the temple on Cambodia's side was supposed to be opened by 9am as usual but it remained closed the whole day, according to Colonel Thanya Kiartisarn, commander of the 23rd Task Force, which oversees the area.
    "Cambodian officials informally informed us that they are worried over the safety of the Cambodian community near the temple," he said. "The temple will remain closed until the Thai authorities are able to guarantee safety."
    A group of artists, senators and writers will petition Unesco at its Bangkok office at 11am today to stop it from accepting Cambodia's application for the listing of Preah Vihear as a world heritage site.

    The petition, signed by more than 300 supporters, implies that Thailand and Cambodia should both apply for the temple's listing. Senator Rossana Tositrakul will join the group. She said she was considering lodging a complaint with the Constitution Court, after the government made the decision without a parliamentary okay.

    Censure debate today
    The Hindu temple has been the subject of conflict between Thailand and Cambodia since last year when Bangkok opposed Phnom Penh's application to annex 4.6 square kilometres of overlapping area claimed by both sides. The dispute was settled after Cambo-dia agreed last month to accept that only the temple belonged to Cambodia.
    However, the Democrat Par-ty, the Senate and the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) launched a series of attacks against the government in Parliament and on the streets. They accused the government of surrendering sovereignty to Cambodia.
    PAD leader Maj-General Chamlong Srimuang said the group would today ask the Administrative Court to revoke the Cabinet resolution on Preah Vihear.
    The Democrats will today open a censure debate on the issue.
    Premier Samak Sundaravej dismissed a claim from Senator Khamnoon Sitthisamarn, saying that nobody could say the temple still belongs to Thailand after the Interna-tional Court of Justice's ruling nearly half a century ago.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Re: Preah Vihear Temple: Abhisit calls on "Thai MPs" to vote against PM

    What do the Democrats and PAD think they are doing? Trying to whip up nationalism to win over some of the passive citizenry to the anti-Thaksin/ anti-Samak cause is a potentially dangerous tactic and a diversion from the real issues.

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    Re: Preah Vihear Temple: Abhisit calls on "Thai MPs" to vote against PM

    'Tone down nationalism'
    By Anucha Charoenpo


    Academics yesterday urged the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) to stop politicising the Preah Vihear temple issue, effectively backing the government stand on the issue.

    They said it has provoked nationalism that may sour relations between Thailand and Cambodia.

    Suthachai Yimprasert, an historian from Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Arts, warned of nasty consequences from the PAD attacking the People Power party-led government over the issue.

    "The Preah Vihear issue isn't related to local politics. Don't try to politicise it and stir up public hatred of the government. That's not right," said the historian, who added that nationalism is hard to control and dangerous.

    Mr Suthachai said the PAD's core leaders realised the Preah Vihear issue gave momentum to the rallies which started on May 25.

    But politicising the issue also put the relationship between Thailand and Cambodia in jeopardy, he added.

    The PAD's core leaders have challenged the decision of the Samak Sundaravej government to endorse Cambodia's bid to register the Hindu temple as a World Heritage site. They are suspicious that the move would benefit former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who is planning a huge investment deal with the Cambodian government.

    The PAD leaders claim that endorsing the Cambodian bid to have the temple listed would destroy any chance Thailand had of reclaiming the temple ruins from Cambodia in the future.

    However, Mr Suthachai said he has closely monitored the issue and found "nothing irregular" with Thailand's decision to back Cambodia as it is the real owner of the temple following the International Court of Justice's ruling in 1962.

    He did not think Thailand would lose any territory, especially in the 4.6 square kilometres of overlapping land, adding that the Survey Department and the army did not object to the new map, an indication that no territory was lost

    Bangkok Post

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    Re: Preah Vihear Temple: Abhisit calls on "Thai MPs" to vote against PM

    Yeah, what Khun Suthachai says.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Thaksin is set to profit from the deal but the Democrats and PAD should be focusing on that. Stirring up knee-jerk nationalism is not a good way to try and give Thaksin a kick where it hurts.

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    Re: Preah Vihear Temple: Abhisit calls on "Thai MPs" to vote against PM

    For sure there are going to be kickbacks on this deal-and not only for Thaksin. A highly corrupt government such as that which currently exists in Phnom Pen is not going to re-draw the map in favour of Thailand for nothing!
    However, PAD should put this whole issue on the back burner and focus on the local issues. Not to do so is to lose both focus and clarity, neither of which it can afford to do.

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    Re: Preah Vihear Temple: Abhisit calls on "Thai MPs" to vote against PM

    Yep, the Cambodian government are even higher up my "would not have a beer with these @#$%" list than Samak and his cronies. I saw something about their shonky dealings with Angkor Wat recently.

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    Re: Preah Vihear Temple: Abhisit calls on "Thai MPs" to vote against PM

    In 1968 a Kiwi friend of mine unofficially slipped across the (fuzzy) border south of Sisaket and wandered off southwards in search of Phrear Vihear temple. He was surprised to find it looking so magnificent, but even more surprised when he came under fire from Cambodian soldiers and received a bullet in his left buttock! It wasn't a life-threatening injury and he got back to the Thai side OK, but shows it was a contentious place even in those days.
    Ӽ

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