Cambodia and Thailand fight over ancient temple

In recent days the conflict between Cambodia and Thailand over the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple has escalated. As a result of clashes over the weekend at least five people have been killed and thousands have fled the region, BBC reports. Cambodia researcher Gea Wijers explained what is at stake in this conflict in a post she wrote earlier for this weblog, which we reproduce here. By Gea Wijers Cambodia must be the only country on this planet to proudly portray a ruin on its national flag. The stylized image of mythical Angkor Watt (a Cambodian temple complex) in its hay-day …

Lees meer

62 virgins to the rescue?

In this final post in the context of Peace Week 2010 and the International Day of Peace, Gea Wijers shows how Cambodia mobilizes a curious ‘invented tradition’ in a long-running conflict with Thailand around an ancient temple. Cambodia must be the only country on this planet to proudly portray a ruin on its national flag. The stylized image of mythical Angkor Watt  (a Cambodian temple complex) in its hay-day says all that needs to be said about the Cambodian government. Its tendency to opportunistically cling on to a romantic national past that may never have existed. Its tendency to defend …

Lees meer