Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thai-Cambodian border dispute flares up again

Why are two historically antagonistic neighboring kingdoms, both Theravada, disputing a monumental Buddhist site? Money, tourism, strategic military advantage...

New Flare-up at Preah Vihear Temple on Thai-Cambodian Border
Mari Nicholson (Bangkok, Feb. 14, 2011)
A flare-up between Thailand and Cambodia border dispute once again focuses on Preah Vihear Temple. The dispute between the two countries may deter tourists from visiting the area.

Although there have been a few deaths due to forces on both sides firing at each other (10 Cambodian troops and villagers, 2 Thai soldiers, and 1 civilian), the situation is under control and has calmed considerably since the initial outbreak of hostilities on Feb. 4, 2010.

What Caused the Flare-up?
Villagers on the Thai side were evacuated to a safe area away from the temple for a few days. They have since returned to their homes after assurances that all is now well, despite the fact that both countries still dispute both the area and who fired the first shot. Cambodia is saying it is “at war” with Thailand, but the Thais deny this.

Massive wonder of the world (bibliotecapleyades.net)

The area is not one where many tourists make the crossing however, although many want to visit the disputed temple. A visit to the Preah Vihear temple (photos) is not recommended at the moment as soldiers on both sides are nervous as the propaganda war ratchets up and “incidents” are liable to happen. More>>

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