Mekong Peace Journey participants from five countries meet on the banks of the Mekong River bordering Thailand and Laos.
On the banks of the Mekong River in a place where Thailand meets Laos, a group of 25 young people gathered this year to take part in the Mekong Peace Journey.
It’s a fitting place for these youths to meet, as they come from all the countries of mainland Southeast Asia—Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar (Burma)—through which the river passes on its path to the South China Sea.
Relations between Thailand and Cambodia have thawed in recent months, but greater understanding is needed before there will be any real warmth.
Kim Vuth, 32, a peace activist who works with the American Friends Service Committee, said the relationship between former enemies Germany and France could serve as an inspiration for Thailand and Cambodia to coexist peacefully in the future.
He emphasised that peace building was not the job of governments alone.
Over the past two years, border tensions between Thailand and Cambodia have led to a number of military confrontations along the border, and a souring of political relations. On both sides of the border, deeply engrained mutual distrust and historical grievances have fueled these tensions. Thailand’s domestic political crisis and growing nationalism in Cambodia have both exacerbated the situation.
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
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