Thailand border issue heats up, again

Ever since seven Thais were arrested in Cambodia in December for illegal entry and trespassing in the ongoing border dispute, tensions have been heating up.

Today, 2,000 nationalist Thai “Yellow Shirts” rallied in the streets of Bangkok to protest the government’s handling of it all.

“We have made our suggestions to the government but they have failed to act, so we have no other choice,” said one Yellow Shirt protester.

In the last two days security forces, some 3000-strong at times, have dealt with potential bomb attacks, a large rally by the rival “Red Shirts”, and a Yellow gathering near Government House where they accused Thailand Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of failing to defend long disputed territory from Cambodia.

This is just the latest in the ongoing tensions between the once-friendly Yellows led by the Peoples Alliance for Democracy (PAD) who’s 2008 rallies and protests helped make way for Abhisit to come to power. Since then, those same demonstrations that also closed two airports in Bangkok, stranding thousands of travelers caused Abhisit to distance himself from the Yellows.
In today’s rally, Yellow’s had three demands. They want the government to revoke a memorandum of understanding about the Thai/Cambodia border from 2000, withdrawal of Thailand from the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and to expel Cambodians from the disputed area.

Prime Minister Abhisit has made the government’s position perfectly clear stating that the government would not agree to their demands.

So the Thailand/Cambodia border issues continues with the tension, rallies, demonstrations and violence escalating as it has for years along the long, common border between Thailand and Cambodia.

See more about Thailand in GadlingTV’s Travel Talk – Thailand Part 1: The First 48 Hours

Flickr photo by Dennis Wong