Saturday, July 26, 2008


Friday, 25 July 2008
Op-Ed by Chanda Chhay

There are many ways to deal with a thug. But, there is only one proper way to deal with a misbehaving, neighboring nation. That is to stand firm and be fair with it, and, if necessary, deprive it of what it wanted most.

It is as clear as daylight that the 4.6 square kilometer of so-called disputed land around the Khmer Temple of Preah Vihear was not what Thailand wanted. What it really wanted is a guaranteed access to Prasat Preah Vihear—the main attraction and an economic lifeline for the arid Si Saket province of Thailand. Without Preah Vihear, the surrounding areas would be just like any other part of the Dangrek Mountain ranges—rocks and trees.

The flagrant incursion of Thai armed forces onto the sacred ground of Preah Vihear has been going on long enough. The Thai government should know better by now that it could only defy words of condemnation or warning, but it could not defy international norms and laws. By the same token, the Cambodian government should know that the muddled head Thai leaders wanted to turn every legal and internationally-recognized document pertaining to the sovereignty of Cambodia upside down and subject Cambodia to the whim of their myopic thoughts.

So, what is Cambodia to do in order to deal with the situation? One very simple and effective solution to this problem is to publicly announce to the international community and to Thailand, in particular, that the access to Preah Vihear from Thailand is no longer open due to the difficulty in preventing illegal trespassing and thefts to the temple’s artifacts, which is now a World Heritage site. As proprietor of the temple, Cambodia has an obligation and a right to safeguard it. If Thailand, as a good neighbor, wanted to offer assistance and collaboration in protecting this World Heritage site, it MUST recognize and respect the treaties of 1904 and 1907 regarding the common border of Cambodia and Thailand. Period!

Preah Vihear is not a political football to be kicked around and see who will win or lose. It has suffered neglect and abuses by humans long enough. It is now time for us to restore and preserve it for posterity. This current crisis is perhaps the best opportunity for us to look beyond the tourist dollars and to give Preah Vihear what it deserves most: Restoration and research on the site, so that humankind could have a better understanding of its history and functionality.

Chanda Chhay
Washington, DC (USA)


Anonymous said...

yes, my dear, you're right on! isn't this what thailand tried to do to cambodia all along by claiming and brain-washing all the journalist, the media, etc... in their country to be bias in their report on cambodia when they write "but easy access is from the thai side". how clever of them. not only they unilateral redrew the this borderline area to their own advantage, they also brain-washing young, novic journalists, the media etc... to keep on saying this everytime they write in their bangcock post newspaper, the nation, etc... from thailand, and left cambodia out of the picture altogether. but now that they over do it, cambodia realized what thailand is doing to harm us, so we are fighting back. i say, it's about time, cambodia stand firm and deny thailand of what they really want from cambodia by using the UN council, the icj verdict of 1962, the treaty of 1907, unesco's preah vihear world heritage status, etc... to knock thailand unconscious for what they did to cambodia all along. i mean, someone got to educate this nation of thailand to stop picking on cambodia. the fact that they continue to do this to cambodia is enough for the UN council to get involve already. don't worry, cambdoia, we will prevail in the court of law, when push comes to shove. god bless cambodia.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

thailand think that they and their people are better than cambodia and our khmer people. so, cambodia must show them that we aren't that stupid like they think we are. keep saying no, my beloved cambodia!!! i hate bullying and this is what thailand is doing to cambodia, bullying, meaning picking on someone smaller than themselves, and the international law won't allow that to happen; i'm sure. god bless cambodia.

Anonymous said...


Excellence work! However, this current bloody Cambodian government needs to hammer by the axe on thier stupid heads. They are brainless. They are expert in abuse innocent Khmer people.

Canberra, Australia

Anonymous said...

Thailand want even more than that, they move their border inside Cambodia at several place. They want the offshore oil, and they want the land around Preah Vihear. The only way to get it and be ligitimate is to invalidate 1907 Treaty. This is why the Cambodian government must at all cost protect 1907 Treaty.

If they decide unilaterally not to respect this Treaty, that means they reserve the right to to steal our territory.

This is equivalent to a declaration of war.

It's about time that Thailand behave as a civilized country.

Anonymous said...

Soon enough, the jackazz thai will see and notice a jackazz in the mirror when look into it.

Samedy said...

I agree to seal off the entrance from Thailand permanantly. One and only one access to Preah Vihear shall be from Khmer side. I can't understand why the government of Cambodia allow Thai to charge entrance fee to see Khmer Temple on Khmer Land.

For now let's boycut Thai products both Cambodia and abroad. Can all of us, Khmer, do that? I'm sure we can. Thank you Khmer

Anonymous said...

I am strongly agreed and supported the article.. And I just hope that high level meeting in Siem Reap on Monday, 28th will bear good fruits. I really hope that Thai prime minister will bow down to Khmers and stop stationing his troops at the boarder for any aggression over our soverienty. I WOULD LIKE TO REQUEST CAMBODIAN GOVERNMENT TO CLOSE THE BOARDER GATE for sometimes, and if IT'S OPENED FOR TOURISTS, KHMER NEED TO CHARGE the PASS HIGHER FOR THOSE WHO'LL ENTER FROM THAILAND.

Anonymous said...

Yes, now I can understand. I am a Thai student, with Khmer blood in Sisaket province, I really didn't know the real story behind. I grow up with false history. From now on I remember and will spread this true Khmer ancestral Prah Vihear temple to whom who meet me.

Anonymous said...

The current Gov can't even solve a simple problem what can they do?

Take all the trash leaders down for the better Cambodia. I mean Ah Hun+Hok+Hor and Chea+Heng and many more..

May Lord Buddha bless the Cambodia