Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thai PM Abhisit twists history with Web site

Thai PM Abhisit twists history with Web site

Thai PM Abhisit twists history with Web site

Dear Editor,

While browsing through the front page of The Phnom Penh Post online news, an article titled "Thai Web site reignites spat over territory" caught my attention. According to the report, the Thai Web site contains a video claiming part of Cambodia as lost Thai territory. Interestingly, it appears that the Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has shamelessly launched that Web site for political reasons.

It is not new to many Cambodian people that Thailand has been spending a huge amount of time and money in the school system twisting the facts of history in Southeast Asia. Many Cambodian people at home and abroad know that Thai schools have been teaching the students hatred towards the Cambodian people.

Veasna Kuch, a Cambodian immigrant who resides in St Petersburg, Florida, said that he had a dispute with a professor over a Thai history book when he was at the border fighting the Vietnamese invasion during the 1980s. "The professor who taught history at the time was required by the Thai authorities to use a Thai history book from Chulalongkorn University, and the information was not correct", he said. "I know Khmer history, so the Thais were not able to cheat me," he added.

Although, as many of us know, some Thai historians do not agree with Thai history books, the latest political endeavour of the Oxford-educated Abhisit has taken that faulty information to the next level by launching his new Web site. For a short period as the Thai premier, Abhisit has brought more tension, not less. When he made a one-day visit to Cambodia in June 2009, I was hoping that he could strengthen the relationship with Cambodia. But after he returned home, the relationship soon deteriorated when he asked the world heritage body UNESCO to reconsider its decision to formally list the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple in Cambodia.

It seemed that Abhisit had good intentions during the UNESCO meeting in Seville, Spain, also in June 2009. But obviously, while Abhisit's right hand was patting Prime Minister Hun Sen on the back, his left hand was carrying a dagger. He apparently tried to gain supporters in order to distract attention away from his failure by bending the real history.

A politician such as Abhisit who openly manipulates history for his own political purposes goes beyond typical dirty politics. Why would you reinvent history? Let history speak for itself.

Sam Sok
Florida

Send letters to: [email protected] or PO Box 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Post reserves the right to edit letters to a shorter length.
The views expressed above are solely the author's and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all