Poll: Border war a worry
Almost half of the people surveyed by Abac Poll worry that the Thai-Cambodian border dispute could lead to a war.
- Published: 20/04/2013 at 11:19 AM
- Newspaper section: breakingnews
The pollsters at Assumption University based the conclusion on interviews with 2,232 people aged 18 years and over in 17 provinces between April 15 and 19.
The survey was done in Bangkok, Phetchaburi, Chachoengsao, Kanchanaburi, Pathum Thani, Chon Buri, Uttaradit, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Phetchabun, Nong Bua Lamphu, Sakon Nakhon, Si Sa Ket, Khon Kaen, Ranong, Surat Thani and Phattalung.
A total of 47.4% of the respondents said they were very concerned that the dispute over land near the Preah Vihear temple would trigger war between Thailand and Cambodia.
Twenty-five percent of the respondents said they were moderately concerned while 27.6% expressed little concern or none at all.
Asked about ties between Thailand and Cambodia, 52.4% of the respondents said they were not worried that the border dispute would erode the two countries' relationship, but 47.6% said they had concerns.
Legal teams from Thailand and Cambodia made arguments in the case this past week before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands.
Cambodia wants the court to further interpret a 1962 ruling that declared the temple was on Cambodian soil, and to rule on ownership of 4.6 square kilometres of land surrounding the temple. In the original case 51 years ago the court declined to rule on the disputed territory, saying the two countries should negotiate that issue by other means.
In the Abac survey, 95.2% of the respondents said peace talks were the best solution to the border dispute and only 4.8% supported the use of the armed force to settle the conflict.
Suriyan Boonthae, assistant director of Abac Poll, said the results showed that the Thai people polled wanted the government to maintain good relations with Cambodia, even though the border dispute is a serious issue for them.
They did not want to see the dispute worsen and affect border trade, the investment climate between the two countries and the migration of Cambodian workers into Thailand, he added.
The respondents wanted both the Thai and Cambodian governments to come up with a constructive way to resolve the border area dispute for mutual benefit, said the academic.
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