Thai Website Incites Reaction With Preah Vihear Video Clip

The Cambodian government will likely ask Thailand to remove a video clip from a website created by the Thai premier, claiming it runs the risk of further inflaming emotions over the disputed Preah Vi­hear territory, a government official said Sunday.

The roughly five-and-a-half min­ute video clip posted on www.­ilovethailand.org shows sections of territory—ranging from present-day Ma­laysia, Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam—disappearing since 1782 from Thai influence, as well as the year of the loss and the Thai ruler at the time. The video can also be found on YouTube.

The last of the 14 pieces of land mentioned is the area of Preah Vihear, which the video lists as losing in 1962—the year when the In­ternational Court of Justice ruled the temple was situated in Cambo­dia.

Spokesman for the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Koy Ku­ong said the government is currently investigating the source of the video and will likely request Thai­land remove it since the clip could agitate relations.

“It could or may provoke the hatred or anger between the Thai and Cambodian people,” he said Sunday. “Now, we have very good cooperation and relations.”

Officials with the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh could not be reach­ed for comment Sunday.

The office of Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajjiva launched the website July 4 in an effort to promote national unity and restore the country’s image battered by internal strife, according to the English-language newspaper the Bangkok Post. Visitors can sign up for membership and receive access to a forum, polls and chat rooms where users can post content and offer their opinions and suggestions on improving Thailand’s reputation.

Chea Dara, RCAF Deputy Com­man­der-in-chief at Preah Vihear, said he has not heard of or seen the video but added it was of little concern to him. He said the online vid­eo was simply a one-sided move by Thailand.

“I don’t care what they do; we have our own right to self-defense,” he said, adding the situation at the border remained quiet Sunday.

(Additional reporting by Phorn Bopha)

 

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