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Border Disputes - Cambodia & Thailand

Dear all,

Please help to give me idea and comment with my new draft. All your comments will help me much on my Op-Ed. Thank you!

Love,
Sarvina

======================================

The issue of the current border dispute between Cambodia and Thailand surrounding Preah Vihear Temple, I’m as angry as all Cambodian are at what we perceive as a Thai-initiated conflict of grossly unjust proportions. Since this border dispute flared up two years ago, we, Cambodians, have never been happy with this issue that still being continued till now.

The question that we are wondering is why Thailand is trying to export its domestic political problems and dump them on poor Cambodia? The sentiment here is that if the red shirts and the yellow shirts want to fight it out, do so somewhere in Thailand, but don’t use Cambodia as a scapegoat.

Actually, Cambodia has no interest whatsoever in another protracted violent conflict with anybody. The Kingdom is still trying to recover from 30 years of civil war, Pol Pot madness and the ensuing guerilla conflict in the ’80s and ’90s that in total cost the lives of more than 2.5 million Cambodians and left the country in ruins. So we, Cambodia, have never thought to fight or had a war anymore – we wish to live in peace.

The view from Cambodia is simple: the issue of sovereignty over the temple was awarded to Cambodia in 1962 when the case was submitted to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

If Thailand didn’t want to abide by the court’s ruling then why did it agree to submit the case in the first place? And why are they groaning now and firing artillery shells at the temple almost 50 years later?

Moreover, Thailand ever said: Well, we controlled the temple in the 1800s and we, Khmers, replied: Yeah, but WE BUILT IT! We started construction in the early 9th century, modified and improved it for 250 years and then continued to pray there and celebrate our Gods for another three centuries until you guys stole it after you sacked and looted our capital at Angkor Wat three times between 1352 and 1431.

The Thai accusation that Cambodia has had some secret plot to steal Thai land along the border is also seen as ludicrous.

Everybody knows that since 1970 Cambodia has been too consumed with domestic strife to take even one meter of land from any of its neighbors. In fact, foreign aid officials who worked on the Thai border in the ’80s will readily admit that border creep worked in reverse. It was Thai farmers living in peace – and I’m not accusing the Thai government of some orchestrated campaign here – who took the opportunity to plant a few extra hectares in disputed border areas while internally Cambodia was in complete disarray.

Cambodian TV stations have been running fundraisers off and on with donations large and small pouring in from all quarters to support our soldiers to protect our country. And yes, of course there are Cambodian soldiers with weapons bunkered around the temple. If they weren’t there the Thai military could literally walk in and take control of it in five minutes.

If this dispute goes real hot, relations between Cambodia and Thailand will be ruined for years, hundreds on both sides will die needlessly and the economic costs to the two countries will be astronomical. So how the governments in my country solve this issue?

Anyways, I hope the ASEAN meeting at JAKATA is a major positive development and hope will bring peace soon to both of our countries Cambodia and Thailand.

On Feb 21-22, 2011 at JAKARTA - All ASEAN foreign ministers are to hold a one-day informal meeting in Jakarta to find a solution for the border dispute of Thailand and Cambodia that has killed scores of people. Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa “said unarmed observers would be on both sides of the border”, he added, “this is an observer team – not a peacekeeping or peace enforcement team.

Finally, ASEAN has concluded its meeting on Thai-Cambodian conflict and agreed to send “observers” to the area. Moreover, Cambodia and Thailand have agreed to allow Indonesian observers to monitor disputed border territory that has been the scene of deadly fighting between the two nations – up to 40 military and civilian observers would be sent to the area.

Comments

nilima's picture

Sarvina, well in my view

Sarvina,

well in my view this oped is better than the last one. My mentor says-" in writing , passion should be felt" and i can see that passion in your writing and i see the anger, helplessness and the strong voice come out from you! i think this is what oped needs t contain . However i think that there should be some of your opinions on it, or what are the suggestions that you want to give to the people or what can be the solution that individual can do could be included in the last paragraph.

It is the strong oped! in my view !

Sarvina's picture

Hi Nilima, Well, I also think

Hi Nilima,

Well, I also think that. Many thanks for your comment and suggestion! I will include it for my final piece.

Love,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

nilima's picture

:)

:)

warona's picture

thats gud!

Dear Sarvina!

Great! You have woven it through once again gal.Thank you for sharing with us the position of the two countries. The only that makes me wonder. Are these countries brothers.If so then its a problem,just like the situation we see in Israel. There has never been peace in Jerusalem.

Lets just hope with few talks with the relevent people i hope things will stabilize and Cambodia will never face any calamity! Lets all pray for our nations.

I wish you all the best Sarvina!

Warona

"success will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time " And when confronted conquer with love

Sarvina's picture

Dearest sis Warona, thanks so

Dearest sis Warona,

thanks so much sis for your inspiring comment! Yeah we are brothers - but they try to take my Preah Vihea Temple which is bordered by our both countries. Anyways, all countries in the world knows that it is my country's temple and also land surrounding that area. Of course, I also hope it will be ended soon.

Love,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

Ruun Abdi's picture

dearest Sarvina, This is very

dearest Sarvina,

This is very strong and beautifully written OP-ED. I hope things will be solved in peace and both parties agree with a common solution, because i know how it feels to be in conflicted area and i always pray that other countries wont suffer the way my own sweet country is suffering for over two decades.

Lots of love,
RA

Sarvina's picture

Dearest Ruun, Many thanks for

Dearest Ruun,

Many thanks for your comment dear! Yeah I do hope peace will come soon. Pls keep praying for our peace!

Love,
Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

Emie Zozobrado's picture

Great piece, Sarvina!

It's greed, of course, Sarvina, no more, no less! People are fighting and dying over territory because of its resources. It's true in my country and in many other countries. It's really senseless and cruel, and yet it continues to hound us. All the power, all the wisdom, and all the resources have served to protract wars and conflicts instead of prevent them. It's really time women take the forefront to heal the world! All the best...

Always,
Emie Zozobrado

Sarvina's picture

Yeah many thanks for your

Yeah many thanks for your inspiring comment sister! I have also learned from you, my mentor & midwife and other sisters how to write it.

Love,

Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

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