Monday, February 7, 2011

Hostilities continue

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.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its a criminal act of aggression on the part of Thailand, and even worse than the Talibans destroying the huge Buddhas in Afghanistan, because at least they were in their own land, while Preah Vihear is a Khmer temple, inside Cambodia. Its a shame no superpower like those that helped destroy Cambodia in the 60s, 70s and 80s makes a gesture towards stopping this aggression! - Linda

February 9, 2011 at 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cambodia is subpar to Thailand in term of leverage in this case. Everyone always acts in their interest. Those Superpowers have more stakes in Thailand than Cambodia so it's natural for them to lean if not completely take Thai side. Cambodia's only hope is for those guys to find any sense of justice in their heart and look at all the evidences, ICJ decision, Siam-Franco Map, we have to support our case.

February 9, 2011 at 10:47 PM  

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