23 July 2008

Preah Vihear of Cambodia

Nationalism is Good; Blind Nationalism is Bad

Opinion-Editorial by Chanda Chhay

This is a very good article I found from KI-Media. Click on the picture will link to the source. Thank you Chanda Chhay. I hope reading more of your writing.

Ignorance of history is a sad fact. But, twisting history to satisfy a political goal is a foolish act. With utmost due respect to Thai people in general, it is unbelievable and outright disgusting to see and hear Thai politicians and political activists barking all kind of nonsense concerning the Khmer Temple of Preah Vihear.

Without listing every detail of who is accusing whom of violating whose national sovereignty, the entire conflict over a parcel of land near Preah Vihear Temple could be summed up as a case of a grown man trying to steal a candy from a kid and accusing the kid of stealing the candy from him. What is so repulsive about this affair is that the whole world knew that the candy is rightfully belonged to the innocent kid.

It is unfortunate and truly sad to see some Thai politicians and leaders behaving like thugs. The whole country should seriously re-examine itself whether it is worth it to lose its honor and integrity within the international community over a desperately hopeless campaign to grab a piece of land which should belong to the sacred ground of Preah Vihear. In this information age, people are much better informed than anyone could have guessed. Along with information, the factual truth will always come out regardless of the efforts to twist or hide it.

Based on the often neglected historical facts, the majority of Thai and Cambodian people have many things in common, culturally. For example, the Thai language, as we know it, is a derivative of the Khmer, the Mon, and the Sanskrit languages. The royal court etiquettes, which are the grace of the Thai nation, are a replica of the Cambodian tradition. These are some of the factual realities. Whether we like them or not, they are here to stay with us for as long as we care to learn the truth. As for those Thais, who continue to fabricate facts with fictions, this myopic action will lead to nothing but humiliation. The fiasco of Thai’s objection over the Preah Vihear’s registration as World Heritage site should serve as a good lesson for moving beyond irrational nationalism.

When King Rama Kamhaeng, and some of his successors, adapted and modified the Khmer language and customs to bestow upon his subjects, the idea of seeing the descendants of his beloved subjects behaving like ingrates toward their cultural benefactor was probably beyond his wildest imagination. Unfortunately, animal behaviors in human beings always prevail when rational thinking is being replaced by blind ambition.

The images of a Thai woman lying in the middle of the road to block a convoy of Thai trouble-makers and a man whose face was cover in blood after an altercation with the trouble-makers spoke volumes of how the local people think: People on both sides of the borders want to live in peace and harmony with their neighbors. Any government or politician that fails to see this simple truth is a disgrace to the nation.

Prasat Preah Vihear and the Buddhist temple in its premise are, first and foremost, the sanctuary of the gods. Second, they are the cultural sanctuary of humankind. For armed soldiers to trample on these sacred sites is not only an affront to humankind but also a disgrace and a despicable act on the part of the instigator.

Chanda Chhay
Washington, DC (USA)


Anonymous said...

Thank you Vannak for posting my article here. I will be coming to visit Cambodia next month and would love to meet you if possible. Please drop me a line at: khemara_kakvey@yahoo.com so that I know where to contact you when I am in P.Penh. I know you are shy of meeting journalist. But I am only an aspiring journalist who wants nothing more than the freedom to express my thoughts freely.
Mr. Chanda Chhay

Blog By Khmer said...

Thank you, Bang Khemera Kakvey ! for allowing me posting your article.

If time permits for me, I will try to contact you once you're in our Srok Khmer.

Thank you again.

Soursdey said...

good article. thank you both so much for sharing it with us, your readers.

Anonymous said...

This comment is a response to the article about the letter to Thai King. Whoever wrote that article probably has a very tiny brain as a peanut size and probably is wearing a dress over the head. You probably have no clue that you had offended Thai people very badly (I know you don't give a shit because you yourself is a shit head and a pussy head). You and your country are nothing compared to Thailand. However, we could only compare you and your people as buffalo who could help in the rice field. That is all you and your Khmer people are....sorry shit head! you don't worth more than that....lol...

Anonymous said...

Thank you Vanak :D

That is such a pretty picture of Thai King !

King Bhumiphol is such a good guy..


Anonymous said...

All cambodian are prick heads. We can just march into your country and destroy you all in less than one hour. Go to hell...

Anonymous said...

You wrote

the Thai language, as we know it, is a derivative of the Khmer, the Mon

This is not quite right. The Thai language is derived from Tai gorup originating in what is now Southern China.

While Khmer has had a great influence on Thai, it is not a descendant of Man.