Skip to comments.Thailand braces for any backlash over world court's temple ruling
Posted on 11/11/2013 12:09:38 AM PST by TexGrill
(Reuters) - Hundreds of villagers along Thailand's border with Cambodia have fled their homes and built bunkers ahead of a world court ruling on a turf dispute that could set off a military confrontation and inflame political tension in Bangkok.
If Monday's decision by the United Nations court in the Hague awards land around the 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple to Cambodia, the move could fuel anti-government sentiment in the Thai capital.
Protesters in Bangkok are trying to thwart an amnesty bill they say is designed to nullify self-exiled former premier Thaksin Shinawatra's 2008 jail term for abuse of power.
Thaksin still looms large over Thai politics because of his influence over Yingluck Shinawatra, his sister and the current prime minister. Some demonstrators are pushing not just for the bill to be scrapped, but also the fall of Yingluck's government.
The protesters include ultra nationalists and royalists who have used the spat with Cambodia in previous years to whip up anger against Thaksin, with tacit backing from top military generals who overthrew him in a 2006 coup.
"The risk of violence increases if the ruling does not go our way," Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, a relative of Thaksin, told local television.
"Government opponents could use it to stir the crowd. Thais must not fall victim to nationalist propaganda, they must remember that this issue predates this government."
The case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) concerns a 4.6-square-kilometre (1.8 sq mile) plot of scrub surrounding Preah Vihear. The ICJ awarded the temple to Cambodia in 1962, but did not clarify jurisdiction of the land around it.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
Hope to see 40 BHT to the USD by the time I retire.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.