On December 17, 2010, I had the privilege of visiting the contentious Preah Vihear temple. It's a magical and spiritual place. It made me feel peaceful and happy. I even went into Keo Sikha Kiri Svara Pagoda to pray for peace in that area. Tragically, it didn't come true. Recently, Thailand had requested the Khmer flag at the pagoda be removed. Thailand also claimed the pagoda was built on its territory. For the past three days, Cambodia and Thailand have been fighting each other over territorial integrity. The PAD (People's Alliance for Democracy) Thais, also known as the yellow shirt, have demanded their government to use force against Cambodia to push its soldiers and villagers out of the area. Preah Vihear, including the pagoda's land, was decided by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 1962 that it belongs to Cambodia. However, those who have a misunderstanding of Cambodia and Thailand's history never accepted the verdict until this day. They want to regain Preah Vihear Temple and its surrounding area through Thailand's military might. They don't respect the ICJ's ruling.
Heartbrokenly, I found out yesterday that Keo Sikha Kiri Svara Pagoda had been blown away by Thailand's artillery during the fighting. I never thought that people of another Buddhist country would want to destroy a pagoda. On the other hand, I heard stories that when the ICJ requested Thailand to return Preah Vihear and its stones to Cambodia in 1962, Thai extremists brought elephants to pull and destroy the temple. They alleged that these Thais felt that since they couldn't have it, they would rather destroy it.
My peaceful and hopeful memory of the pagoda has now been destroyed. It saddens me. Nothing is sacred anymore. Devastatingly, the fighting is still raging on.