Monday, September 21, 2009

Cambodians’ Reaction To PAD Temple Protest

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dear Editors,

Many Cambodians around the globe were watching and had reason to be concerned about the PAD temple protest over the week-end. Although the protest took place on Thai soil, its ramification had spilled across the border, and could adversely affect the ongoing diplomatic efforts to resolve the border issue peacefully.

It is irresponsible and inherently dangerous for PAD to conduct a territorial protest in such a proximity to the border, where soldiers on both sides were on high alert and had been under a lot of stress over a prolonged period. Provocations, intentional or not, could have occurred and easily degenerated into hostility. Wars began that way in some part of the world.

For both nations, it is outrageous and unacceptable that the border situation can not be normalized because some leading PAD activists would risk a war in order to advance their own political agenda. These activists have no consideration for the hardship on the soldiers deployed at the border, and the financial losses incurred on the local residents.

While continuing to exercise restraint within a limit, Cambodians sincerely hope that the week-end protesters did not represent Thai mainstream, and that the voice of reason in the Land of Smiles will prevail so that the border issue can be settled amicably.

Davan Long
Montreal, Canada

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