Friday, September 23, 2011

Plea For Indian Initiative To Resolve Thai-Cambodian Conflict Over Preah Vihar – Analysis


Plea For Indian Initiative To Resolve Thai-Cambodian Conflict Over Preah Vihar – Analysis
Written by: SAAG
September 23, 2011
By V. Suryanarayan


The temple of Preah Vihar, dedicated to Lord Siva, located in the Thai – Cambodia border, has once again got mired into bilateral dispute, unfortunately leading to armed skirmishes and even killing of innocent civilians. Bilateral talks between the two countries and even attempts made by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to broker peace have not succeeded. Preah Vihar is one of the most glorious illustrations of India’s abiding cultural influences in Southeast Asia. What is more, New Delhi has excellent equations with both Bangkok and Phnom Penh. It is high time that the Ministry of External Affairs should take initiative and get the area declared as a non-militarized zone.
In order to appreciate the complexities of the subject it is necessary to keep in mind the historical and cultural background of the temple. In addition the closer relationship which India today seeks with the Southeast Asian countries has to be fashioned on twin foundations – benign interaction of the past and mutuality of interests that exist at present.

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