Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What caused the Thai-Cambodian temple row?

An IHT article nails the main cause of the unseemly border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia:

Analysts say that domestic politics in Thailand, where the temple is known as Khao Pra Viharn, have played a big role in fueling the border dispute.

Preah Vihear's listing as a World Heritage Site this month incited political uproar in Bangkok, where the opposition People's Alliance for Democracy accused the government of selling out Thailand's history by initially backing the listing. The alliance, a coalition of activists and royalists, is waging a street campaign against Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, whom they accuse of acting as a proxy for former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a coup in 2006.

The other factor? The election in Cambodia. Incidently, it will be the first Cambodian election in which monks will be allowed to vote.

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