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Preah Vihear

Preah Vihear Conflicts: As Senior defense officials from Thailand and Cambodia met Monday to try to stabilize the mounting escalation and Thai and Cambodian troops faced off over the Preah Vihear Temple, there are political gains to be capitalized upon on both Samak Sundaravej's image within his country and PM Hun Sen's up coming election bid.

The International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that the 11th century Preah Vihear temple belonged to Cambodia--indisputable evident as to whom the temple belongs to, so why are we having this silly conflict?  Samak and his ruling People Power Party are closely aligned with Thai's Ex-leader, Mr. Thaksin.  Thailand's ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is planning to build a 'modern city' in Cambodia, complete with a financial district and port, and with all the modern infrastructures, in which Cambodia sorely needs.


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The deal was the result of a chummy behind the scene agreement among PM Hun Sen, Thaksin, and Samak Sundaravej that was estimated to have worth in the hundreds of millions--the details of the deal is still unknown to all accept among those who are involved (In Cambodia, governmental transparency is considered as "stupid" by all officials because why leave the paper trails of all your crimes!?!).

The former Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk and a staunch CPP opposition leader, Sam Rainsy, have both been strong critics and expressed concerns over widespread corruptions and the latest behind the scene dealings with the Thais.  Mr. Sam Rainsy is also running his campaign on the argument that the top three CPP leaders have sold the nation of Cambodia, and added that, "the worst crook of them all is the one in the middle".

So why are we even having this conflict with Preah Vihear now?  Well, Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra is dealing with corruptions charges; Samak Sundaravej's PPP is facing overwhelming opposition's protests, accusations, and a possible cue; and of course, we all know that this is an election month in Cambodia.  With mounting political problems, uncontrollable inflation heights, charges of widespread corruption, and the upcoming election, this generated hype over Preah Vihear is a little too fishy for me to digest.

Who benefit from this conflict?  Well for starter, both PPP and CPP leaders will come out looking like patriotic protectors of their beloved lands, and what better way to divert attention away from the real problems--which are many.  Why start worrying about the potential thief from the left while the one on the right has been stealing from us for the past 29 years, and the one in the middle just allows it all to happen right in front of our eyes. Country for Sale

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