While Cambodia’s “Day of Anger” is traditionally held on May 20 to remember the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge regime, at least one Thai media outlet reported that the event was held on Thursday and was re-directed this year to express Cambodian displeasure over the border dispute with Thailand at Preah Vihear temple.
On Friday, Thai newspaper Pattaya Daily News correctly described the meaning of the Day of Anger, but said it had taken place on Thursday to protest the Thai border dispute.
“Border trade between Thailand and Cambodia came to almost a complete standstill on Thursday as Thai traders feared violent outbreaks during Cambodia’s observance of a “Day of Anger,” the Pattaya Daily reported.
Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Independent Teacher’s Association, held a miniscule protest on Thursday in Phnom Penh over the border dispute with about 20 other people.
Mr Chhun said that while he called his small protest a “Day of Anger,” it had nothing to do with Cambodia’s national observance day for the Khmer Rouge regime. He also said Thailand was trying to exaggerate the situation.
“I don’t think the Thais are confused about the term “Day of Anger” they did this on purpose…in order to make their people misunderstand,” he said.
Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, said the Thai reports were “provocative and strange.”
“I don’t understand what the Thai media are talking about,” he said, adding that the government did not support Mr Chhun’s protest.
“This morning, the Prime Minister, he said he doesn’t want to hear that one group wants to hates the other,” Mr Siphan said.