Thursday, July 31, 2008

Past Thai-Lao boundary issues

Found on the Preah Vihear blog: a paper titled "Laos in 1984: The year of Thai border" by Arthur J. Dommen. Unlike the current boundary conflict with Cambodia on the exact location of the boundary at Preah Vihear, back then the disputed area of 19 km² was a unimportant mountainous stretch between Ban Khok subdistrict, Ban Kok district, Uttaradit Province of Thailand and Paklay district, Sayaboury Province of Laos. Another difference to the currect issue is the fact that both armies fought there for several days with light arms as well as heavy artillery. I only hope something like this can be avoided this time, as it would be both totally pointless and would only destroy further the ruins of the temple just inscribed as a World Heritage site. The appointment of Tej Bunnag as new foreign minister is a good sign that rational thinking isn't completely lost in the current nationalistic fervor.

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