Between the Christmas and New Year celebrations, and my two weeks at the field, I didn’t have the time to cover any of the archaeology news that has surfaced in the last three weeks. In Wednesday Rojak style, here’s the quick summary of what’s been happening in Southeast Asia over the last three weeks: Skeletal remains in Malaysia, Digital Reconstruction in Cambodia, Restoration works in Vietnam and a Construction Mess in Indonesia.
The two nations return to the table again for talks on the disputed border around the Preah Vihear temple. Cambodia seems to be more aggressive this time round, threatening large-scale conflict. Let’s hope it does not come to that.
Cambodia ratchets up border row
Bangkok Post, 14 October 2008
Cambodia warns of armed border conflict
AFP, via Sydney Morning Herald, 14 October 2008
Cambodia, Thailand resume talks on border spat
AFP, via Channel NewsAsia, 13 October 2008
The standoff at the third disputed temple fizzles after two days, thanks to a calm meeting between the military commanders of boths sides over the weekend. This third incursion isn’t making relations between the two any better, and the Cambodian prime minister has indicated that they will seek to resolve the dispute through the UN, something that Cambodia has tried to do before.
Thai soldiers leave Ta Krabey
The Phnom Penh Post, 16 September 2008
Govt to take temple row to the UN
The Phnom Penh Post, 16 September 2008
Cambodia gripes that Thailand is ‘testing patience’
Bangkok Post, 15 September 2008
First Preah Vihear, then Ta Moan Thom, and now Tawai. The temple is on a piece of disputed border in Thailand’s Surin province is the third flashpoint for a standoff between Thai and Cambodian troops.
Thai, Cambodian army standoff at another dispute temple ruin
MCOT News, 13 September 2008
And now, for your weekly Preah Vihear update post – although I seem to have missed this news over the week. The unstable situation at the Thai capital over the past two weeks have put all border talks on hold for the moment.
Border talks with Cambodia to go ahead next month
Bangkok Post, 07 September
A setback for the border talks between Cambodia and Thailand; formal and informal talks have been postponed indefinitely due to the current political crisis in Thailand.
Cambodia says temple talks off due to crisis
Bangkok Post, 28 August 2008
Cambodia contests ownership of Ta Moan Thom as Thailand returns troops to occupy the temple, while at Preah Vihear the standoff has caused a surge of visitors in nationalistic fervour.
Cambodia reasserts claim over border temples
AP, via International Herald Tribune, 12 August 2008
Funds pour into Preah Vihear
Phnom Penh Post, 12 August 2008
The Phnom Penh posts reports that Thai soldiers have once again restricted access to the second border temple in an apparent backtrack from an agreement reached last week.
Thais back at Ta Moan Thom temple as border row simmers
Phnom Penh Post, 11 august 2008
The troop count has escalated on both sides of the Tha-Cambodian border, although both armies have been showing unusual restraint (and there are even hints that the Thais do know they are on the wrong side of the border). Both governments have agreed to meet for talks on Monday.
Cambodia, Thailand continue troop buildup at disputed border
The Straits Times, 17 July 2008
Cambodia PM says Thai border row getting worse
Reuters, 17 July 2008
Temple could draw millions of tourists
The Nation, 17 July 2008
A week after Preah Vihear was inscribed on the list of World Heritage sites, tensions are still high between Cambodia and Thailand, most recently when Thai troops reportedly crossed over into Cambodian territory yesterday (Thailand denies it).
10,000 Cambodians rally to celebrate ancient temple’s World Heritage status
AP, via International Herald Tribune, 14 July 2008
Push for Thais on Preah Vihear panel
Bangkok Post, 14 July 2008
Temple issue helps pin Thai stance on colonial map
The Nation, 14 July 2008
Post-mortem of govt’s handing of Preah Vihear
The Natiom, 14 July 2008
Political tensions driving temple row
BBC, 15 July 2008
Official: Thai troops enter Cambodia
AP, 15 July 2008