Cambodian blogger and author Sambath Meas wrote a letter to Ban Ki-Moon, secretary-general of the United Naitons, that: “This [Cambodia-Thailand] war will not benefit anyone but the fat cats in Cambodia and Thailand. They live comfortably in the air-conditioned mansions and drive their Lexus or Range Rover while they send poor and defenseless Khmers to the frontline.”
The writer of the letter stressed that:
“Whatever sparked this conflict, whether it’s pressure by the PAD Thais, also known as the ‘Yellow Shirts’, or business discord between the Thai and Cambodian fat cats, Khmer solider and people cannot and must not over this feud.”
Sambath also urges other Cambodians to send their letters to the UN. Here’s the full content of the blogger’s letter:
My Appeal to ASEAN and the UN
XXXX XXXXX XXXX
XXXXXXX, XXXX XXXXX
February 14, 2011
The Honorable Ban Ki-Moon
Secretary-General of The United Nations
760 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017 USA
H. E. Marty M. Natalegawat
Dear Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and H. E. Dr. Marty Natalegawat:
I would like to express my concern about Thailand-Cambodia’s clashes, which destroy no one but the lives of poor and innocent Khmer soldiers and villagers, including innocent people in bordering Thailand.
Thailand’s government refuses UN intervention, and warns the representative of Unesco not to assess the damages at Preah Vihear; but according to the Bangkok Post, dated February 11, 2011, “Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is calling on Unesco to help defuse the border conflict between Thailand and Cambodia by delisting the Preah Vihear temple as a world heritage site and scrapping a Cambodian management plan.”
If this statement is true, Prime Minister Vejjajiva is basically threatening that, if Preah Vihear and the “disputed” 4.6 square-kilometers of land are not handed over to Thailand, then it will continue to create chaos and hostility until it gets its way. It has the military might to do so. This is an example of a big country bullying a poor, defenseless country.
Whatever sparked this conflict, whether it’s the pressure by the PAD Thais, also known as the “Yellow Shirts” or a business discord between the Thai and the Cambodian fat cats, Khmer soldiers and people cannot and must not die over this feud.
Legally, Preah Vihear doesn’t belong to Thailand, and the 4.6 square-kilometers of land is included on the map that the International Court of Justice used to render its verdict in favor of its rightful owner, Cambodia, on June 15, 1962. Thailand’s government continues to create misunderstanding among its people and the world by claiming that the temple and the land belong to them. They don’t. Therefore, Thailand has no right to have its say in the delisting of Cambodia’s temple.
Khmer Empire once covered modern day Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. It has now decreased to the size of the state of Missouri, USA. Thailand’s history is stained with invasions, lootings, and annexations of neighboring countries (Cambodia, Laos, and Malaysia).
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, when Khmer people faced their darkest history, military armies of Thailand raped, buried alive, and dumped Khmer refugees in the landmine-infested areas of Dangrek Mountain. The survivors looked to Preah Vihear for guidance when they trekked through the dangerous jungle to safety. Moreover, those who escaped to America had gone back to their birthplaces only to find their original lands now under the sovereignty of Thailand.
Khmer people have been very unfortunate to have weak leaders who only put themselves before their people and nation. Please don’t punish the small population of Khmers by allowing Thailand’s military force to wreak havoc on them.
Conquest is ancient history. That is why we have ASEAN, the EU, and the UN to promote brotherhood and maintain peace and prosperity among nations. Thailand is the original member or known as the founding father of ASEAN and it is touted as a civilized kingdom. Please appeal to Thailand to stop the aggression and help maintain social harmony in the area.
Khmer soldiers and people have suffered long enough. Please give them a chance to experience peace, development, and stability by curbing the conflict between Thailand and Cambodia.
Thank you, His Excellencies.
A refugee-camp survivor