“We now have found that all maps that we have received from the Royal Government, the CNRP and the French Institute are the same.”
Sok Touch, Head of the border research group of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, 14 August 2015, the Phnom Penh Post
“You [Opposition MP Om Sam An] instructed your assistant to ask me about the map with a Vietnamese seal on it, and you say I can’t answer it. You talk nonsense… Any map that comes from a particular library will bear a seal of that library. It is not that difficult to answer.”
Sok Touch, Head of border research group of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, 25 August 2015, Radio Free Asia
“Whoever dares to use the language of ‘fake maps’ will face legal actions urgently. There will be no tolerance and we will not waste time.”
Premier Hun Sen, 27 August 2015, The Phnom Penh Post
“Now we all remember by heart, passing from one to another, that the area of Kingdom of Cambodia is 181,035 km2, [but] until now that we are working on the border demarcation, we do not know how this number comes about… We do not know because we are still working on it. Just like what Samdech Prime Minister writes in his book, it can vary. But for now, we do not wish to say [what it is] because we are still working on it.”
Deputy Director of the Secretariat of the National Authority in Charge of Border Affairs Koy Pisey, 11 August 2015, Radio Free Asia
“កែដើម្បីកែដើម្បីបញ្ជាក់ថា យើងមានលទ្ធភាពយកផែនទីពីឆ្នាំមុនៗ មុនឆ្នាំ១៩៣៣ បើផែនទីមុនឆ្នាំ១៩៣៣ ជាពិសេសផែនទីឆ្នាំ១៩១៤ វាល្អប្រសើរជាងសម្រាប់ប្រទេសកម្ពុជា យើងយកផែនទីឆ្នាំ១៩១៤។ បើយើងយកផែនទីឆ្នាំ១៩១៤ យើងត្រូវតែលុបផែនទីឆ្នាំ១៩៣៣ ។”
ប្រធានគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិ សម រង្ស៊ី ១៦ ខែសីហា ឆ្នាំ២០១៥ វិទ្យុអាស៊ីសេរី
“បើសិនជារដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញបានចែងថាផែនទីនៃព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជាប្រើប្រាស់ផែនទីខ្នាត១/៥០០០០ ខ្ញុំព្រះករុណាក៏សុខចិត្តលុបចោលកិច្ចព្រមព្រៀងសន្ធិសញ្ញាជាមួយ វៀតណាមដែរ។ តែមាត្រាទី២នៃរដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញគេឲ្យប្រើថាផែនទីអធិបតេយ្យរបស់កម្ពុជា មានចែងនៅក្នុងផែនទីខ្នាត១/០០០០០បោះពុម្ពក្នុងចន្លោះឆ្នាំ១៩៣៣-១៩៥៣ដែលអន្តរជាតិទទួលស្គាល់៦៣-៦៩ ។”
នាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី ហ៊ុន សែន ១៧ ខែសីហា ឆ្នាំ២០១៥ V VOD
With so many maps floating around, the map issue for border demarcation is as clear as mud. However, to remove any confusion and brouhaha, Hun Sen & Co. rule that all the maps from the UN, the opposition, and others are all identical to theirs. It makes no difference if some of them are UTM or Bonne based, with or without signatures of the joint Vietnam Border Committee stamped with a Vietnamese seal. They cannot even wait for other maps they have requested from the US and French governments. As a good measure to ram the map identicalness down the public’s throat, Hun Sen threatens legal actions against those who dare to utter the word “fake”.
Now that all the maps are not fake, and are the same as the one Article 2 of the Constitution specifies, why then do they want to amend the Article? Hun Sen says there is a mistake in it. Koy Pisey elaborates the Article would cede 50 Km2 to Vietnam. But how do they come up with such a specific loss, when they will not know the area of Cambodia until they finish the current demarcation?
While Hun Sen and Co. want to change the Article to avoid the imaginary loss, their culture of dialogue partner Sam Rainsy will support the amendment if this leads to a territorial gain. He suggests any amendment go back to 1914, not just 1933 as in Article 2 to maximise the advantage. With this kind of logic, why not extending to the Angkor period when the Cambodian empire ruled most part of South East Asia? Both are blind to the fact that the amendment will effectively remove the being “internationally recognised border”, which means Cambodia may lose some legal ground in any territorial claim dispute.
And Hun Sen intends to go further. He wants to use maps with 1/50,000 scale in lieu of the 1/100,000 specified in Article 2, so that he can annul all border treaties he has signed with Vietnam. A common sense dictates that the Viets will agree to scrap any of them if and only if the 1/50,000 maps offer them better benefits – at least more than what they get now.
Thus, while the opposition is driven by greed, Hun Sen is building up a case for dumping the map endorsed by the Constitution and King Sihanouk.
Sihanouk, who was dominant in founding the 1991 Paris peace accord and the 1993 Constitution, approached the border issue with an expectation that Vietnam would owe Cambodia a debt of gratitude; he allowed them to use Cambodia as a supply route and sanctuary during the war. In return, Vietnam duly recognised in the 60’s the Cambodian border as per Sihanouk map.
Therefore, by dumping Article 2, the Hun Sen’s debt repayment will go beyond lauding the Viets for swallowing their words. And the minority leader with status equal to prime minister is to follow suit for the sake of his expected gain or the culture of dialogue.
Ung Bun Ang
Here, it is – the language of self-proclaimed impartial academia full of integrity Sok Touch. Now Hun Sen has another made-in-heaven excuse to throw a few more dissidents in jail for inciting a war against his patron State.
Anyway, what is this “unofficial” map? Why is it “unofficial”? Does this map show Lam Dong province, which according to Google Map is situated about 100 km east of the Vietnam-Cambodia border, sharing a common border with Cambodia? What has happened to Binh Phoc and Dak Nong provinces that are supposed to lie between Lam Dong province and the Cambodian border?
“… One map submitted by the CNRP was an unofficial map of Vietnam’s Lam Dong province. If you use that section of the map, we will have a dispute that can lead to war with Vietnam.”
Sok Touch, Head of the border research group of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, 15 August 2015, The Cambodia Daily