Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sacravatoons no 1941 : " The Patriotism of Conflicts ? "

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thailand and Cambodia have agreed to introduce joint patrols in disputed areas along their border after deadly clashes between the two sides.

Thai soldier injured after a firefight with Cambodian troops

Tensions erupted over a border area near a historic temple into a gun battle that left at least two people dead.

The firefight, in which two Cambodian soldiers were killed and eight troops from both sides were wounded, prompted officials to call for the conflict to be resolved peacefully.

Thailand's Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat pledged to "use peaceful means". He said: "If there is violence, we have to negotiate."

Wednesday's clash was the first deadly fighting in four months of tensions since Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple was declared a UN World Heritage site.

Many Thais feared their country's claim over nearby land would be undermined, and anti-government protesters have pressed for a harder line on the border conflict, seeking to discredit the government's patriotic credentials.

Protesters have sought the exit of Thailand's ruling party, occupying the grounds of the prime minister's offices for the past two months.

Cambodian troops near the Preah Vihear temple complex

The fighting on Wednesday afternoon lasted for about an hour, with each side accusing the other of firing first.

Thailand's foreign ministry said Thai soldiers were peacefully patrolling their own territory along the border when Cambodian soldiers shot at them with rocket propelled grenades and sub-machineguns.

Cambodia's foreign ministry accused Thai troops of launching "heavy armed attacks" at three different locations to push the Cambodians back from positions inside Cambodian territory.

The fighting was the latest flare-up in a decades-old dispute over a stretch of jungle near the 11th century Preah Vihear temple.

The World Court awarded the temple to Cambodia in 1962, but sovereignty over surrounding land has never been clearly resolved.

Thailand had grudgingly accepted Cambodian sovereignty over the temple with few armed confrontations until this year.

But resurgent Thai nationalism sparked by the anti-government protesters has put Bangkok authorities under pressure to aggressively pursue the land claims.

Both sides sent hundreds of troops to the area after the Unesco decision, and the dispute also fired a surge of nationalism in Cambodia that helped propel Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to a landslide re-election victory in late July.

Shared by Sarika of Battambang.France