The message is clear and unequivocal A deserted entrance to Preah Vihear with just soldiers for company Sunset over Preah Vihear with the Cambodian flag flying high
Although I'm a barang and should keep my nose out of it, I am getting increasingly annoyed by Thai attempts to force the Preah Vihear
border dispute issue by repeated incursions onto what the Cambodians term is their territory, whilst of course, the Thais dispute this, and claim it as their own. Nevertheless, with another Thai soldier losing his leg to a landmine explosion yesterday, they are not doing themselves any favours and when I was at Preah Vihear myself last week, just an hour or so after 100 heavily-armed Thai troops made a bee-line for the border in another futile attempt to make a nuisance of themselves, I found myself nodding in agreement with the order that's been handed down to the front-line Khmer troops to open fire if Thai soldiers encroach any further. I don't want to see an escalation in the border dispute to the point where more lives are lost but somehow the message has got to get through to the Thais that both sides should stay where they are until the talks aimed at resolving the issue take place. The temple, the mountainside and the whole area at the base of the mountain is awash with Cambodian armed forces. I witnessed this for myself, they are heavily dug-in, their range of weaponry is permanently trained on the Thai forces camped on the other side of the gully that separates the two sides and it won't take much to kick it off. My belief is that the Khmer forces have remained very patient despite provocation by the Thai troops on quite a few occasions over the last few months. But I get the feeling their patience is wearing thin, as is the patience of the nation.
Labels: Preah Vihear