ctrp369 Modern War over Ancient Land

by bicyclemark 3 Comments

The Temple

Temple photo by flickr member: Everything Everywhere

The Preah Vihear temple is piece of world heritage dating back to the 9th century. But the war being fought over who controls it between Combodia and Thailand is going on right now in 2011.

This past month saw more fighting between both nation’s military, with a number of casualties, all despite the fact that there has been an international court of justice ruling on who rightfully controls the temple. Some forces in Thailand see it as a matter of national pride and heritage to hold on to this ancient site, while the Combodian government answers with their own bravado. In the line of fire lay poor people, historical heritage, and a legacy of violence.

My guest is a blogger, author and concerned Khmer-American Sambath Meas who has appealed to the UN and ASEAN to stop the war and mediate a settlement.  You can read her letter and more posts related to this conflict on her site, you can also read her book “The Immortal Seeds: Life Goes on for a Khmer Family”

Update: Sambath just posted a followup video to our interview on her site! In my 6+ years of podcasting, she is perhaps the only guest to ever do so!

Killing Fields Survivor

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As I type this entry I’m listening again to a recent episode of CBC radio’s The Current podcast.? It is a profoundly sad and important interview with a Cambodian man (now living in Canada) who survived 4 years in the killing fields during the Khmer Rouge regime. There are in fact, no words to make someone understand or express why this needs to be heard, simply put – it must be heard.

Among the most gut-wrenching and ponderous points of the interview,

bm267 Empowering Cambodian Children with Friends International

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Friends International is a very unique organization doing some very revolutionary work in an often overlooked part of the world with the most overlooked people on this planet- street children. While in Phnom Penh I stumbled upon one of their restaurants by luck and asked about doing an interview.  One day later, I was sitting down with Sébastien Marot, the international coordinator of friends international.  Following the interview, he introduced me to actress, activist and concerned citizen Leslie Hope who also sat down for a drink with me to talk about the film she had just completed about Friends entitled – What I See When I Close My Eyes.  After this surprise interview, I joined them both at the film screening and had one of the more unforgettable nights of my visit to Cambodia.

Music in this episode:

  • The Breeders – Wicked Little Town
  • Utah Phillips – Kid’s Liberation
  • Phil Ochs. – Outside of a Small Circle of Friends