Friday, April 3, 2009

Preah Vihear is our temple

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.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you suspected, a big scale battle had been fought already. If you can please, post something you can get from Cambodia on this latest fighting because I'm from overseas and all the Western Media is doing their usual deed of reporting with bias for their allies, Thailand this time.

Khmer from US.


April 3, 2009 5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Video of sneaky Thai soldiers being told to leave the disputed area.

This world is no fair. The aggressors are always backed by their strong allies and allowed to do whatever they want while the peaceful one gets screwed over and has to defend whatever little they have.

April 3, 2009 7:45 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Its difficult to know which news reports to trust as being accurate. Both sides will more than likely not reveal the whole truth about any of the incidents that take place as both sides don't wish to appear 2nd best or weak in the eyes of their public. All I know is that incidents took place at the PV border today, probably as a result of continued Thai aggression and provocation. There is no need for it as both sides had agreed to remain in their positions, but for some reason the Thais continue to push the edge of the envelope and the Khmer soldiers at the front-line can only put up with so much. Its sad because further talks between the military commanders are planned for this weekend, so why couldn't everyone just stay in the fox-holes and wait for that.

April 4, 2009 12:21 AM  

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