21 Feb '11, 10pm

TODAYonline | Commentary | Realpolitik calls for dose of caution: via @addthis

Shelling and shots on the Thai-Cambodian border between Feb 4 and 7 have inflicted casualties and deaths among soldiers as well as civilians. Voices call for the Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN) to intervene. At its ministerial meeting today, the regional group must be seen to do something or it will lose credibility as a security community. Realism is needed, however. We need to see why violence has flared repeatedly since 2008, when Khmer ownership of the Preah Vihear temple has been recognised since 1962, and understand why Cambodia seeks intervention while Thailand prefers bilateral discussions. Only then can ASEAN know what best to do, rather than try to be a mini-United Nations Security Council. The reality is that the Preah Vihear temple is the focal point and not the primary cause of bilateral tensions. Nor is it ancient animosity. This flare-up is f...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/Commentary/EDC110222-0000135/R...

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