A Change of Guard

សូមស្តាប់វិទ្យុសង្គ្រោះជាតិ Please read more Khmer news and listen to CNRP Radio at National Rescue Party. សូមស្តាប់វីទ្យុខ្មែរប៉ុស្តិ៍/Khmer Post Radio.
Follow Khmerization on Facebook/តាមដានខ្មែរូបនីយកម្មតាម Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/khmerization.khmerican

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Calm at Preah Vihear temple, tourism increases at Ta Moan Thom temple

Gen. Hing Bunheang (hand on hip) at the ceremony to untie the chord from the neck of the Naga king.

Reported by Khmerization

The easing of military tensions at Preah Vihear temple during the Khmer New Year, provided an impetus for an increase in tourism at the Ta Moan Thom temple, reports Koh Santepheap newspaper.

Koh Santepheap reported that, in the past, Thai army always considered Ta Moan Thom temple their own, but after 3-4 armed clashes between Khmer and Thai troops near Preah Vihear temple, they now considered Ta Moan Thom temple as a "disputed zone". As a result, both Khmer and Thai tourists can access the temple without restrictions, said Koh Santepheap.

Both Khmer and Thai authorities had even jointly held a new year celebration together at the temple site.

Col. Neak Vong, commander of Battalion 42 guarding the Ta Moan Thom temple,said that in the past, Thai soldiers allowed Khmer tourists to visit the temple only one day during the Khmer New Year because they considered Ta Moan Thom temple as their own. But this year, both Khmer and Thai tourists have unrestricted access to the temple.

He said this year both Khmer and Thai soldiers jointly patrolled the temple to provide the security to the tourists. The Thai soldiers are responsible for providing the security at the areas behind the temple, while Khmer soldiers are responsible for protecting the ways leading to the temple compound. Five Khmer and five Thai soldiers in civilian clothes are deployed inside the temple compound to jointly guard the temple and provide security to both Khmer and Thai tourists, reports Koh Santepheap.

Koh Santepheap also reported that, in the past, the Thai side alone hosted the the New Year Celebration by inviting the Khmer Surin artists to perform "Kantrem" musical dance at the temple and allowed Khmer tourists only one day to access the temple.

According to Koh Santepheap, because this year's New Year Celebration is jointly held by both Khmer and Thai authorities, there are tens of thousands of Khmer and Thai tourists flocking to the temple everyday.

In a related report, Gen. Tea Banh, Minister of Defence and Gen. Hing Buheang, Commander of PM Hun Sen's Bodyguard Unit, held a religious ceremony at Preah Vhear temple to unleashed the spirit of the Naga king.

Left: Khmer official untieing the chord from the neck of the Naga king, and (R) Gen. Tea Banh saluting his soldiers.

The report said that due to old age, in 2003 the statue of the Naga king tilted and Cambodian authority used the steel chord to tie tightly around its neck to keep it from falling part. But lately, villagers report to the authority that the Naga king had come into their dreams and complained that the chord had been tightly wrapped around his neck and if it is not untied, he (the Naga king) will not allow the areas to rest in peace. As a result, the Khmer authority held a ceremony to unleased the Naga king's spirit by untieing the chord from the statue of the Naga king.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ta Moan Thom and Ta Krabey temples are located inside Cambodia, according to the map from the 1904 Khmer-Thai treaty. So they should belong to Cambodia.

About the Naga king threatened to create chaos for the Preah Vihear areas if chord around his neck is not untied, it's all bullshit superstition. This is the 21st century and therefore Khmers, especially officials, should stop believing in this kind of bullshit superstition.