Ambassador replies
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Ambassador replies

I wish to clear up some points of misperception written by Thitinan Pongsudhirak in the opinion section of the Bangkok Post on July 27 entitled "Asean rifts widen as China, US rivalry grows".

First, those who said the Peace Palace was ''funded and adorned by Chinese arts'' are simply ignorant people.

The building's construction was fully funded with the national budget of Cambodia and its internal adornments reflect quintessential Khmer ancient art forms.

The building was designed and built by young Cambodian architects and engineers. China provided assistance only for the construction of the adjacent building and not the Peace Palace.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance of Cambodia has all the documents on the expenditure for the Peace Palace's construction.

Second, the assertion that China has become an ''open patron state of Phnom Penh'' with more than US$10 billion (310 billion baht) in aid and investment is purely insulting.

If that is the case, does the author consider China as the open patron of many other states in Asean and elsewhere when these countries have received many more billions of dollars of aid and investment than Cambodia from China?

Third, the allegation that Cambodia ''shared the draft version of the joint statement with the Chinese, who then vetoed it'' is extremely disparaging and slanderous. Those who make such scathing remarks against Cambodia have no other intention than to defame Cambodia's credibility.

When and where did Mr Thitinan obtain this information, or did he copy it blindly from one other journalist without credible facts to substantiate their allegations? Or is it a deliberate smear campaign against Cambodia?

Fourth, as to the assertion that the community objectives of 2015 can neither be taken at face value nor for granted, we believe that no one in Asean has ever taken for granted the noble objectives of achieving the Asean Community in 2015.

As a matter of fact, the lack of consensus on the bilateral issue of the South China Sea is only a temporary hiccup, as much as there were many other hiccups in the past, and yet Asean has prevailed.

Already the issuance of Asean's Six-Point Principles on the South China Sea is a step forward toward an eventual resolution.

Last, one must ask why two Asean member states opposed the 45th AMM Joint Communique if their bilateral issues were not included? But a week later, they accepted the Six-Point Principles.

During several restricted meetings, Cambodia proposed exactly the same substantive elements.

Cambodia's proposal has been categorically rejected by the two Asean member states which have bilateral territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

The answer is clear: these two Asean countries had their own hidden plan to sabotage the AMM and made the JC a hostage of their bilateral disputes.

Ambassador of the Kingdom of Cambodia

Lost opportunity for Yingluck to shine

Re: ''Greatest Show on Earth'', Sunday Sport, July 29. I was pleased to see the finale of the Olympic Opening Ceremony which cost Britain US$42 million (1.3 billion baht). The song Hey Jude is no longer my favourite.

The purpose of the ceremony was to show the past greatness of Britain. As they say, self-praise is no praise.

Fortunately, the parade of smart and elegant players and comments on each country's past participation in the Olympics turned out to be educational, entertaining and most relevant.

The leaders of most nations stood up, and the camera focused on them upon the announcement of his or her country's entry. So, where was the photogenic Thai prime minister, the prettiest premier in the world, when she could have had a chance of making known Thailand's beauty to billions across the world? What a lost opportunity.


BBC deprives viewers of a great spectacle

What a disappointment to see that the BBC managed to deprive thousands of ex-pats the right to view the spectacular opening ceremony on their website by restricting the reception to the UK only. They did exactly the same with the Queen's jubilee celebrations earlier this year.

The BBC is the official public broadcasting service of the UK and managed to censor the biggest event produced by Britain in decades, thereby failing to show the world just what Britain is able to do.

Mr Cameron (the prime minister) is always ''banging on'' about how British industry should show the world how great it is and here was an ideal opportunity to do just that and the BBC completely (for whatever reason) failed to use one of the most spectacular events of this decade.

Even podcasts sent to me from the UK could not be opened in this area.

Luckily I managed to view a lot of the ceremony via Thai TV and Chinese satellite TV.


Blast into Orbit that monstrosity

Crutch (''Postscript'', July 29) is absolutely right that the BBC should not subject its viewers to that monstrosity the Orbit every time you see the background in their Olympic studio.

Can't they change the camera angle slightly to cut out that tangled metal thing? Or couldn't Thai Television blur it out as they do with other unpleasant images such as smoking and kissing? I always wondered why architecture seems to attract the most self-centred personalities, the ''internationally acclaimed artist Anish Kapoor'' being surely one of them.

These artists as well as most architects are totally incapable of admitting that not all their designs are a piece of art.

Mr Kapoor went ballistic when he was asked why he couldn't have incorporated a glass floor for the viewing platform.

''This is not the Blackpool Tower,'' he ranted, ''this is art!'' But why have a viewing platform at all if it's just a piece of art?

I read that the lift has a few viewing portholes. What is wrong with a glass cage which would surely enhance the experience for the over-charged visitors.

But no _ it may have offended that man who would tell us that he didn't want to create a shopping mall.


Uncalled for criticism of Korn's opinions

Re: ''Poor ignored'' (Postbag, July 29, 2012). I feel that JC Wilcox's criticism of Korn Chatikavanij's comment on the government's fiscal policy (''We are all in the red'', Postbag, July 27) was pretty much out of line.

First, Mr Korn said the country's budget is currently in the red to the tune of 300 billion baht; and almost as much for out-of-budget borrowings; hence the government's expenditure is much more than its earnings. What is ''out of order'' about that?

Second, Mr Korn said the government's policy to lower the corporate tax rate from 30% to 23% and eventually to 20% will only enrich the super rich, and is not a brilliant idea. Can you give a credible argument to that?

Third, JC Wilcox said the Democrat Party was selfish and paid scant consideration to the country's poor. That is his opinion. If he is fair-minded, he should elaborate on his critique. Hence, I think JC Wilcox's sweeping criticism of Mr Korn was off-target.


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