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No Man's Land:sensitivity vs. nationalism

Looking down from the Preah Vihear mountain, everything apparently becomes unimportant.

As reported, the recent disputes between Cambodia and Thailand over Preah Vihear Temple which shares the Hindu sculpture of the famous Angkor Wat temple have stirred nationalism in many Cambodians. Before that, the inclusion of Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage site rankled a huge number of Thais and has given a chance to Thai politicians to take advantage of the politics in Thailand.

Let’s do some talking.

In a book written by a historically-famous Chinese ambassador to Cambodia back to the mid-Angkorian era, Cambodians were portrayed as brave warriors. They, both male and female, worked hard for their country. Nationalist, you can say. Yet, what impared their character was they easily took the bait.As written in the book, Cambodian warriors preferred keeping their swords with them all the time to anywhere they went. Fighting was common on the way. They would go into fighting quite easily. And blood could be shed without hesitation with swords in their hand.

What I want to point out from here is that sensitivity ran through the circle of the Cambodian ancestors and emotions spoke too much on behalf of the brain. ‘Nationalism’ and ‘senstitivity’ should be distinguished. Of course, the past was the past. It will go forever, but inevitably we need to learn the differences.

What is defined by nationalism? Does nationalism mean that you have to die for your country all the time while you leave someone else suffering? Do people have to kill or hurt others to be called “nationalists”? Of course, I appreciate that Cambodia learns that Preah Vihear belongs to them. But obsession that it must be ‘yours’ doesn’t help make the truth clear. We must do something besides showing our emotions (anger/sadness). Can I say ‘globalist”?

8 thoughts on “No Man's Land:sensitivity vs. nationalism

  1. It’s breath taking view. Thought it’s unimportant at this moment because there is yet any development and it’s somehow seem to be a no man land

  2. Without talking about natural resources which we don’t know yet, without mentioning any development which is not easy to happen soon, a lose of any inch leads to another lose of another inch later… Then what do we have for our children? Just an opinion not a nationalistic sentiment…

  3. To Sophon,

    Look at how much land we have. I think Cambodia has a big piece of land to take care of its own children.

    Invasion or land encroachment of one’s land is condemned. I do not support invasion or any unlawful act.

    We need to depend on the world justice court to take care of our land. We the Cambodian people are also obliged to know what our country has.

    If we are truly nationalists, we might learn how to love our culture, our things, our temples and what we have, rather be cheated or angered by some fool’s opportunistic or abusive act. Thats all I can say.

  4. Look at how much land we have. I think Cambodia has a big piece of land to take care of its own children

    Look at how much had we before. and Look at how much have we now.

    We need to depend on the world justice court to take care of our land. We the Cambodian people are also obliged to know what our country has.

    Hahaha… I prefer depending on myself than depending on others. But I don’t deny the international communities…

    If we are truly nationalists, we might learn how to love our culture, our things, our temples and what we have, rather be cheated or angered by some fool’s opportunistic or abusive act.

    Absolutely right. Totally agree with you.

  5. I reached Preah Vihear town last year but did not reach the temple. I tried to go to temple but my car was stuck in the middle of road towards the temple. I hope once day i will go there again.

  6. i don’t want to support any war, for whatever the reason, the war is bad. but we must react to this invasion, it’s not a No man’s land. it’s Cambodian’s land. and no one can take it away from us.
    the government, for whatever the political reason, they have to react in press, in media, make a forced talk and resolve this. i know it’s not an easy task … because the Thai king is behind and the Thai government themselves have the same issues. however, the person in command to send the troops to those area need to be condemned and take full responsibility to what happen.
    we, Cambodian people, have duty to defense our territory.

  7. it’s shamefully sad to see from the first place that Cambodian military relies merely on public donation rather than on its own functional mechanism. Most of our people may be proud of their so-called “Nationalism”, if it’s even true, which I doubt, by contributing their money to supply the very basic needs for the troops. But do they ever wonder what the Ministry of National Defense itself is doing? are they a national army or self-funded guerrilla group?

    S-Bonn

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