Cambodia announced that Thaksin Shinawatra, an ex-Prime Minister of Thailand, will become an advisor to its government. This upset the government of Thailand and they asked their ambassador to Cambodia to come back. In return, Cambodia called back its own ambassador to Thailand. An ambassador of a country is a person who represents his/her country in another country.
Thaksin was the Prime Minister of Thailand for over five years, and in 2006, he was forced to step down from the post by Thailand’s military because many people thought he was corrupt. Last year, the courts of Thailand investigated the charges of corruption against Thaksin, and found him guilty. Thaksin had gone to Beijing, China to watch the 2008 Olympic Games, and was to appear at a court hearing after his return. He never came back to Thailand. He instead has been living mainly in the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom since then. But the courts in Thailand went ahead and sentenced him to a two-year jail term, which he would have to serve if he goes back to Thailand.
Thaksin is not the only point of disagreement between the two countries. There is a temple that was built about a thousand years ago called Preah Vihear at the border between Thailand and Cambodia. There has been a dispute about the border around the temple for many years now.
The people of Thailand and Cambodia have many things in common. Most of them follow the religion of Buddhism. They both have similar greetings where they join their hands and bow their heads – the Thais call the greeting “wai” and the Cambodians call it “sampeah”. A person’s head is considered extremely sacred by people of both countries and is not to be touched by others. One of the staple foods in both the lands is rice. Both use a motorized three-wheeled vehicle as a taxi called a “tuk tuk”.