Thai military officials have agreed to remove a roof covering a Buddha statue located inside a Provisional Demilitarised Zone around the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple that was established under an International Court of Justice ruling last July, a military official said yesterday.
Lieutenant-General Srey Doek, commander of military division 3, which covers the area around the temple, said the roof was removed on Saturday following a request by Cambodian soldiers.
“We explained to our Thai military counterpart that the construction of the Buddha’s shelter was inside the provisional demilitarised zone, and they agreed to remove the roof,” he said.
On February 11, the National Authority of Preah Vihear and the National Committee for World Heritage issued a joint statement expressing “deepest concern” about “ongoing activities” by the Thai military in the area.
The statement said that on January 24 and 25, two Thai military trucks had transported and unloaded construction material near the recently erected Buddha statue.