According to some Cambodian media sources, a new website launched by the
Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Saturday has caused a stir in the
Cambodian local media as well as among top officials.
The web-site at the heart of the controversy,www.ilovethailand.org, claimed
that parts of today’s Cambodia were in fact Thai territories.
The web-site’s claims make headlines in most major newspapers in Cambodia.
Khmerization was the first site that has opened the debate on this
controversial web-site, when it received an e-mail from Mr. Dith Nimol
alerting the web-site’s claims relating to Thai “lost territory”.
Reaksmei Kampuchea newspaper picked up Khmerization’s report. Then Khmer
Sthapana, Deum Ampil and Khmer online web-site, www.everyday.com.kh, have
all reported the Thai PM web-site’s controversy extensively.
The major English daily Phnom Penh Post reported that Cambodian officials
are scurrying to investigate the claims. It quoted Mr. Phay Siphan,
spokesman for the Council of Ministers, as saying that “they (the Thai) are
twisting the facts of history. It is completely exaggerated.”
According to Phnom Penh Post, in 1794, Thailand – then known as Siam –
annexed Siem Reap and Battambang provinces from the declining Khmer kingdom,
but the territories were returned following a March 1907 treaty between
Thailand and France.
And, according to historical records, other Khmer territories annexed by
Thailand in the late 18th centuries include Kauk Khan (Sisaket), Surin,
Sa Keo, Nokor Reach (Korat) and many more provinces.