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  • » 03/25/2009, 00.00

    CAMBODIA – THAILAND

    Preah Vihear temple raises Thai-Cambodian tensions



    After last October’s clashes, which left four soldiers dead, the movement of 100 Thai troops into the disputed area causes alarm. Both governments try to downplay the incident.
    Phnom Penh (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Tensions between Cambodia and Thailand flared up suddenly today when Thai troops crossed into a disputed area near the Preah Vihear temple claimed by both countries. Last October, clashes left four soldiers dead.

    Thai soldiers entered the area where they were faced by Cambodian troops, but both sides quickly issued statements in order to avoid clashes.

    "We are trying to push the Thais back to their border through negotiation. We do not want violence again,” Cambodian government spokesman Phay Siphan said.

    “Both sides move their troops from time to time. We inform our Cambodian friends of our movements and vice versa,” Major General Kanok NetraKaveysana said.

    An old Hindu temple, Preah Vihear was built in the 12th century.

    Sitting on an escarpment the temple became an issue when in July of last year UNESCO decided to list it as a World Heritage Site. The International Court of Justice had already awarded it to Cambodia in 1962.

    The original ruling did not however determine the ownership of a 4.6 sq km area of scrub next to the ruins.

    In the wake of last October’s clashes Thailand and Cambodia agreed to demarcate the border once for all.

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    See also

    29/07/2008 CAMBODIA – THAILAND
    Cambodia and Thailand to pull back 1,200 troops from Preah Vihear
    No results come from a day of talks; a solution seems faraway. Troop reduction is a good step, but if impasse persists the United Nations might step in.

    11/11/2013 CAMBODIA - THAILAND
    Preah Vihear: Phnom Penh gets sovereignty over temple area
    The International Court of Justice rules Cambodia owns the land that has been the source of a long-standing dispute with Thailand, and calls on Bangkok to withdraw its troops. In the past, soldiers from the two sides have clashed with scores of dead and wounded. Thai nationalist groups reject the ruling.

    17/10/2008 THAILAND – CAMBODIA
    Tenuous truce between Thailand and Cambodia along border
    Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen appeals for dialogue, but military tensions remain high. A patch or border land near the Preah Vihear Temple is at the centre of their dispute. Thailand’s political crisis shows no signs of abating amidst fears of another military coup.

    28/07/2010 THAILAND – CAMBODIA
    Bangkok and Phnom Penh again at loggerheads over Preah Vihear
    Cambodia plans to use the 34th session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee to present its management plan for the Preah Vihear Temple, an area Thailand considers its own. Yesterday, a thousand Thais protested against the UNESCO in front of its offices in Bangkok. Thailand’s prime minister complains that the “world-heritage inscription often turns tourist zones into areas of conflict”.

    17/07/2008 CAMBODIA - THAILAND
    Dialogue begun, troops amassed at temple of Preah Vihar
    Hundreds of soldiers from the two sides continue to arrive at the contested temple, although both sides say the measures are merely defensive. Tension is high and the Thai police have stopped a group going to the temple to protest. A "cordial" telephone call between the two prime ministers.



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