Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cambodia vs Thailand

The photos above were taken at Bayon, mentioned in the previous post. Wonderfully bizarre place. So I’m still here at Angkor Wat - well, about 5km away in the city of Siem Reap - and as part of being here I wanted to do a little research into the entire site to make sure that I knew exactly what it was that I was looking at. The Cambodians are fiercely proud of Angkor Wat - it is on their national flag after all - and naturally it’s seen as the jewel in the Cambodian crown. And rightly so. However, relations with next-door neighbours Thailand have not always been the most amicable, let’s say, and as recently as 2003 the two countries were at loggerheads once more over a dispute as to which country should actually lay claim to Angkor Wat. The Cambodians went berserk at the suggestion that Angkor Wat actually belonged to Thailand of all places. Things got nasty pretty quickly and it got to the stage where Thailand had to evacuate 500 nationals after anti-Thai riots left one dead and seven injured, most of them Cambodian.
And the source of these ill-conceived comments? The King of Thailand? The Foreign Minister? Nope - Suvanant Kongying, a Thai soap actress. Which kind of beggars belief really. In the long and tempestuous history of Anglo-Irish relations you couldn't imagine tensions growing because Bella from Fair City let slip in an interview that he felt that London Bridge technically belonged to Ireland. Would anybody even pretend to notice? I think not but it goes to show the tenuous relationship between both Cambodia and Thailand and the idiocy of giving credence to comments from soap stars.

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