Thailand & Cambodia- Stop, Start and Continue Fighting, February 6, 2011

Border wars (or skirmishes) are new for me; for better or worse, the USA doesn’t fight in our own backyard and I have never lived in a country with a war taking place on a border. The news is filled with information about the fighting between Thailand and Cambodia, but the accuracy must be question. I now understand why so many have questioned the accuracy of reporting during recent wars (Iraq) and protests (Egypt)- the information coming from the two countries (or administration and protestors) is vastly different in terms of everything from who instigated the clashes to the result. I understand the need to keep military secrets, but much of the information is blatantly false.

I certainly have never been able to closely follow fighting between Buddhist countries that started over disputed land on which a temple resides.

Nationalism is running rampant on both sides of the border. Thais are reporting over 60 Cambodian soldiers have been killed and 2 Thai soldier have died, Cambodia reports they have damaged Thai tanks and captured soldiers. Both blame each other for starting and continuing the fighting.

Thankfully the people on Twitter seem to have the most accurate information. And most of the information is that “real” fighting has been taking place with significant damage.

Other information:

  • Villages on the border have been evacuated
  • Thailand is saying the International community should not be involved, Cambodia is asking for the International intervention. Representatives from 16 Embassies will tour the border tomorrow.
  • Thailand has released statements saying they don’t want to be seen as the bully; Cambodia has released statements saying Thailand is attacking due to internal Thai politics
  • Hun Sen (Cambodia) has called this fight a “big skirmish or a small war”
  • There is a peace march in Bangkok this afternoon as well as the Yellow Shirts calling for a full invasion and warning people that children might be spies for Cambodia.
  • The Yellow Shirts have some kind of nationalist march, supporting aggressing, on Friday.

Thailand- as the larger, dominant country- doesn’t fear any invasion. So, its sabai sabai and the let the fighting go on- no matter the real motivation or agenda.

BBC Article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12378987

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About faranginbangkok

Additional pictures: http://www.tumblr.com/blog/faranginbangkok For more updates about Bangkok, Thailand and other thoughts: www.twitter.com/lilrichardb I began working in Bangkok during 2008- a time that featured a great deal of political unrest in Thailand and particularly Bangkok. I had lived in San Francisco for 15 years and was working on a project in Thailand. Generally I spent 2 weeks in Bangkok and then 3-4 weeks in San Francisco. Did Bangkok begin to feel like home? Yes, and No. Bangkok and the Thai culture forced me to feel many things, the change in culture and environment was so dramatic it forced the decision- embrace or ignore. I embraced and made Bangkok my home and base in 2009. I have enjoyed living in Bangkok, experiencing Thailand and the entire ASEAN region.
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