Neither Side Has Advantage In Border Conflict
October 25, 2008, 6:03 am
Filed under: International Issues



 Neither Side Has Advantage In Border Conflict

by Moeun Chhean Nariddh

The Cambodia Daily, Tuesday, October 21, 2008



t’s interesting to read about observers’ comments on the border conflict between Thailand and Cambodia in article “Defense Analysts: Thais in Advantage at Temple,” October 17, page 29.


Regardless of advantage or disadvantage for Cambodia or Thailand, we can say that both sides will be the great losers unless this conflict ends soon.


During the past several decades, Cambodia has experienced an immense tragedy: from a harsh civil war to genocide and to another civil war. Almost two million people have lost their lives as a result.


After it finally reached peace, Cambodia is now trying to rebuild its economy and infrastructure, while the people are trying to restore their shattered lives.


If the armed conflict with Thailand becomes a full-scale war, Cambodia will lose more lives and its economy will be in great recession as investors will move out of the country.


Meanwhile, Thailand will be in the same boat. Though Thailand was lucky enough not to have experienced Cambodia’s nightmare, in recent years Thailand has also been struck by horrible turmoil, especially the battle with the Muslim separatists in the South. Many lives have already been lost to this conflict.


If border clashes with Cambodia turn into a big war, it will also cause bad consequences for Thailand. Thailand’s economy relies heavily on tourism. Together with the trouble in the South, a war with Cambodia will scare away tourists and their dollars.


So, there will be no winners in this armed conflict between Cambodia and Thailand.


The real winners are those who benefit economically from the fighting between both sides, especially those who produce weapons for soldiers from the two nations to shoot and kill each other.


The only win-win solution for Cambodia and Thailand is to seek a peaceful means to end the conflict through negotiations and mutual understanding.




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