Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Quiet day on Thai-Cambodian border

via CAAI

BEIJING, Feb.9 (Xinhuanet) -- Along the Thailand-Cambodia border, the situation was still tense on Tuesday, but there was no new violence. Troops from both sides were still on high alert as Thai commanders said they were not confident of long term stability.

A new day and 24 hours without fighting the first time in five days.

The Thai military have now locked down their side of the border inside the nine hundred year old temple, off limits too all.

Although there is no formal ceasefire, a tense peace is holding.

Later in the morning a press conference with the local governor and military commanders.

This border clash has now caught the attention of the International community, the United Nations security council saying overnight it would support talks between Thailand and Cambodia brokered by ASEAN.

But while expressing hope the peace would hold, the Thai commanders say long term stability is less assured.

Colonel Chinnakard Rattanajitti, Thai Military, said, "Judging from previous situations when we've reached a ceasefire agreement, fighting broke out again within 6 hours. Therefore we cannot be confident about the situation".

Army bases are full of reinforcements.

The Thai army say these soldiers are part of a routine rotation, but troop numbers appear to be high.

Elsewhere the soldiers from the frontline were using the lull to restock their supplies.

As they did so, more aid arrived for those displaced by the fighting. donations have been pouring in from all over the country.

The local government says nearly twenty two thousand people are living in makeshift camps, but if the fighting stops, they can return home by Friday.

On the border itself an uneasy quiet.

Phra Viharn National park was once a popular tourist spot, but since the outbreak of fighting it has become part of no mans land.

And the long term affects of this conflict are being felt all across the border. Towns that once thrived with tourists and trade from Cambodia have seen that business disappear.

Thailand used to be Cambodia’s third largest trading partner in three years it has dropped to seventh.

While the territorial issues have inflamed nationalist sentiment elsewhere, for the locals things aren’t as black and white.

Sinuan Jampahorm, Thai Rickshaw Driver, said, "Talk should be the answer for this problem. We are like brothers and sisters. We should not fight, but love each other instead because people here go back and forth across the border all the time".

Today the only visitors to these towns are in uniform. Unlike the tourists who used to flock here, these soldiers look as if they’ll be staying for some time.

(Source: CNTV)

Editor: Tang Danlu

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