A Change of Guard

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Thursday, 30 June 2011

[Thai] Border villagers wary of clashes

Prasit Permkaew inspects a bunker in his village in Surin’s Kap Choeng district as fears of border clashes between Thailand and Cambodia grow. TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERD

Families prepare to bolt for shelter.

Published: 30/06/2011
Bangkok Post

Bon Thawikerd, a 79-year-old resident of Ban Kan Tuan village in Kap Choeng district, was in her family's shophouse packing bags yesterday afternoon in case they had to leave at a moment's notice.

Her younger, and stronger family members had been out since the morning in their paddy fields, rushing to plant rice seedlings.

Like the other families in this border community, the Thawikerds are preparing for a possible evacuation in case a new wave of border violence flares up. They are worried about a possible renewal of tensions along the border after Thailand's decision to withdraw from Unesco's World Heritage Convention.

The government walked out as it feared the body would approve Cambodia's management plan for the Preah Vihear temple.

"We're hurrying here because we don't know when they'll fight again," said Waranya Thawikerd, 48, Mrs Bon's daughter-in-law, as she joined five neighbours in planting rice seedlings.

If they can finish before the authorities order them into shelters and away from any possible armed skirmishes, the rice can grow on its own in the fields.

But in the worst-case scenario, if they cannot finish planting, the remaining rice seedlings will be too old to plant when they eventually return home, meaning less income for the family this year.

"Actually, I don't ever want to run away again. Last time it was for 11 days. There was a lot of food [at the shelter] but I was not happy at all because it was not home," Mrs Waranya said.

Troops stationed along the 200km long Thai-Cambodian border are prepared to respond promptly to any Cambodian aggression, a military source said yesterday.

The soldiers have stepped up security checks at border areas, especially for people who want to enter the area of mostly farmland where fighting erupted previously. The Ta Kwai and Ta Muen Thom temples are now off-limits and heavily guarded by soldiers.

In April, a border clash broke out near these two temples in Surin's Phanom Dong Rak district.

Soldiers have been telling villagers living in the border areas to prepare for a possible evacuation.

Suphap Wilai, a 32-year-old farmer also in Ban Kan Tuan, said her fears from the April clashes and evacuation had yet to subside. "Of course, we are getting ready to move, but it would be best if there isn't any new fighting," Mrs Suphap said. "People here are living in fear. We don't know when they will start shooting or if we will have to hide in bunkers or be evacuated."


Anonymous said...

u see,, if u wanted war, gonna be like that, horrible life.

u should be blaming on adhisit teams
he was playing flip flop politics, played dummy politics,

Anonymous said...

Why don't Khmer ancestor that live in Siames rid up to get their own independent. Rather then live under ah Siames they're keep them as the second class citizen wake up all the Khmer ancestor now is the best time for your to do it.

Anonymous said...

It Thai's strategy to create this war,so that Khmer Sorin, Khmer Sisaket and others along the border will suffer in this war, and as a result of suffering by war,they will use Khmer Sorin and others to fight against their ancestor homeland.
Thai see Khmer Sorin and others Khmer in Thailand as a low IQ people,that their logic can be twisted easily.
It's time Khmer in Thailand should wake up and think hard about their origin,their history and their reason to fight in this war.

True Khmer

Anonymous said...

I agree with 2:31PM! All khmer ancestor throughout Thailand should rise Up and fight with cambodian to get our Independent Empier land back...Why they have to live under Abhisit Vejjajiva'evil Govts?

Anonymous said...

It's very hard to say former Khmer/Thai living along Thailand's provinces of Trat, Sa Kaeo, Burriram, Surin, Sisaket, and Ubon Ratchathani and most of Khmer former provinces in Thailand are as willing as we Khmer want them to be to rise up against the Siem. At this time, they see grass on Thailand side alot greener than Cambodia's. So they opt to play more favor with Siem. Maybe sometime in the future when more opportunities to rise up are given and Cambodia is a much stronger than she is today, then maybe they might change their minds. As of now, they have been brianwashed and de-programmed by Siem for many centuries to hate their fellow Khmer. It's would be hard to reverse that.

Anonymous said...

Agree, with your comments above 100%! Of course Thailand is much much better than cambodia...Just like you said the grass is way way much greener than cambodia Yes! I knew our country is much better now, but still has a long way to go...We need our people to get high educations as we can....For the future!

Anonymous said...

Cambodian army should know how to build a strong bunker like this...?