Thais and Cambodians joined together in Phnom Penh yesterday to urge their respective countries to end the violence that broke out on Friday and continued yesterday near the Preah Vihear temple.
“The main purpose of the meeting is to encourage the leaders of the two countries, Cambodia and Thailand, to stop fighting with each other at the Preah Vihear Temple,” said Ros Sotha, President of the Buddhist and Khmer Society Network.
Ros Sotha, who is also a representative of the Joint Committee for Khmer-Thai Reconciliation, said the meeting sought to “promote the respect of human rights along the border and create a culture of peace and friendship between the two countries in accordance with the teaching of Lord Buddha”.
Roughly 50 Cambodians and Thais attended the event, dubbed “Neighborhood Love and Peace without Violence”.
The government reported five Cambodians and two Thais dead in the clash yesterday. Interviews by Buth Reaksmey Konkea and photos by Pha Lina.
Lecturer, Thammasat University
“Mr. Abhisit [Vejjajiva] should stop playing politics inside Thailand because I have to say there is no PAD government in Thailand, and there are so many people who do not agree with him. It is the right of Cambodia to take Preah Vihear because according to the [International Court of Justice], it has already ruled [in 1962] that Preah Vihear was situated inside Cambodian territory.”
“As ASEAN member countries, Cambodia and Thailand should not use force to resolve the problem over the border issue. But they should resolve the problem via ASEAN’s mechanisms or a United Nations resolution. The two leaders should stop fighting each other from now on and should invite the leaders or country representatives of ASEAN and the UN to help find solutions for them.”
Thai Buddhist monk
“Cambodia and Thailand have almost the same culture and religion and they should not create problems with each other. They should be good neighbours and could live near each other well in a good community. We are Buddhists and we should not kill or fight each other over the border issue, but we should promote peace, security, development and progress for the two countries’ people who live along the border.”
Buddhist-Khmer Society Network
“Cambodian and Thai people are Buddhists who have strictly followed, practiced and respected the Buddhist religion. They should not fight each other and they should resolve the problems by following the teachings of the Dharma. We cannot use the gun to resolve the problem between the two countries. Therefore, I would like to appeal to the two leaders to settle the border issue by peaceful means.”