A Cambodian soldier at Preah Vihear in more peaceful times
There's a lot of anger in Cambodia right now. For four straight days, the news coming out of Preah Vihear
, the border province that lies at the mercy of the heavily-armed Thai army, has not been good, with fatalities reported on both sides and shell damage to the temple itself. Fortunately, so far, hostilities have not spilled over to other border areas and international border crossings have remained open. But it won't take much to escalate this further, especially if the feelings of ordinary Cambodians are anything to go by. The fact one country is firing artillery shells directly at this World Heritage temple and more than 20 kms into Cambodian territory can't be justified in anyone's book. The loss of life doesn't come as a surprise as it's literally the same as lobbing weaponry and firearms over your neighbours garden fence, the two sides are in such close proximity. Everyone is hoping the two sides stop the aggression immediately but the signs aren't good, with the fighting kicking off again this morning. Calls from the UN Secretary General for 'maximum restraint' have gone unheeded. For some in the area this is a nightmare return to the bad old days when fighting and shelling around the border areas was an all too common occurrence during the 1980s.
Labels: Preah Vihear