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  1. #1
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    PREAH VIHEAR : Cambodians protect temple

    Cambodians protect temple
    Nov 7, 2008


    The Cambodian government blamed Thai troops for damage to a staircase and a sculpture, but Thailand denies the charge. --
    PHOTO: AFP

    PREAH VIHEAR (Cambodia) - CAMBODIAN officials erected flags and signs near an ancient Khmer temple in a bid to protect the landmark, after accusing Thai troops of damaging it in a recent border gunfight.

    In a ceremony at the 11th century Preah Vihear temple, which sits alongside the disputed border with Thailand, Cambodian officials raised a World Heritage flag and signs declaring it an international cultural property under special protection.

    Mr Hang Soth, director general of the agency which cares for the site, said two signs each nearly two-metres-wide were also placed on towers of the temple, facing the sky to prevent 'jet strikes'.

    'We put up signs in order to ban Thai soldiers from firing at the temple,' Mr Hang Soth said after the ceremony which was not attended by UN officials.

    Preah Vihear was hit by rocket and bullet fire during October 15 troop clashes on disputed land which left three Cambodians and one Thai dead.

    The Cambodian government blamed Thai troops for damage to a staircase and a sculpture, but Thailand denies the charge.

    Tensions between Thailand and Cambodia flared in July when Preah Vihear was awarded UN World Heritage status, rekindling a long-simmering dispute over ownership of land surrounding the temple.

    Although the World Court ruled in 1962 that it belonged to Cambodia, the most accessible entrance is in Thailand's northeastern Si Sa Ket province and the recent conflict has fuelled nationalism on both sides of the border. Cambodian and Thai officials are scheduled to hold border talks next week in Cambodian tourist hub Siem Reap. -- AFP

    straitstimes.com

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  3. #3
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    New boder dispute between Thailand and Cambodia
    By Supalak Ganjanakhundee
    Published on November 15, 2008

    The Buddhist rite of kathina does not produce good deeds if carried out in the wrong place, Thailand has warned Cambodia in the wake of the performance of the ceremony by high-ranking Cambodian officials at a temple Thailand claims is on its own soil.

    The Thai Foreign Ministry lodged an aide-memoire on Thursday in protest at Wednesday's ceremony at the Keo Sikha Kiri Savara temple.

    The temple is said to have been built by Cambodians since 2004 in an area over which Thailand also claims sovereignty near the Hindu temple of Preah Vihear, which is at the centre of conflict between the two countries.

    The Thai Foreign Ministry said some 500 Cambodian nationals, 100 Cambodian soldiers, 30 Cambodian Buddhist monks, 37 Cambodian Buddhist novices and 70 Cambodian vehicles had been present at the temple for the ceremony, which it deemed an intrusion into Thai territory without the permission of the Thai authorities, the aide-m้moire said.

    Kathina is an annual merit-making one month after the end of the Theravada three-month rainy-season retreat.

    "The Ministry therefore puts on record its protest in the strongest terms against their presence and activities," the aide-m้moire said, adding that Thailand was committed to working constructively and closely with Cambodia within the existing framework of the Thai-Cambodian Joint Boundary Commission on Demarcation of the Land Boundary (JBC) with a view to settling boundary issues in a just, peaceful and amicable manner and in accordance with international law.

    The JBC concluded a meeting on Wednesday in Siem Reap with an agreement to make a priority of settling the undemarcated boundary at Preah Vihear.

    nationmultimedia.com

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