Since Preah Vihear temple was registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage site in Cambodia on July 7, 2008, I have been following the situation closely by reading your online news as my main source, and other online sources.
I found that Thailand often aims to make claims without any credibility or basis in fact over the Preah Vihear temple and the surrounding land.
Although I have never blogged about those nonsenses, I have decided to write this letter to you and offer my opinion after hearing that the current Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has made a statement that could start a new chapter of violence.
According to the Thai daily newspaper The Bangkok Post [June 17, 2009], Abhisit said that "the registration of Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage site had brought about conflict and losses, and this would appear to be against UNESCO's objectives in having heritage sites."
In fact, such a statement does not solve the conflict but creates a new one.
It appears that the dispute did not start after the registration of Preah Vihear as a World Heritage site. It started decades ago, although the World Court ruled in 1962 that the Preah Vihear temple belonged to Cambodia.
The gunbattles and loss of lives that happened after the listing of Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage site were purely created by Thailand in order to make it easy to claim and appear to be against UNESCO's objectives.
This is very dangerous because Thailand could continue to promote violence by trespassing in order to support its theory.
The real problem is not what the Thai prime minister has said, but it is because the Thai troops keep trespassing, and that is a fact.
To solve the conflict, the simplest solution is not to create a new one.
From day one when the Thai prime minister came to power without a vote, I started to question his knowledge and ability to solve this conflict and correctly interpret the verdict of World Court's rule in 1962.
Unfortunately, he failed that test.
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The views expressed above are solely the author's and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.