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Pride party for Preah Vihear

A Cintri worker sweeps in front of the Council for the Development of Cambodia, which has recently been adorned with flags.

With banners in every school and flags at every ministry, Cambodia prepares itself for the one-year anniversary of the temple's World Heritage designation.

WHEN Prime Minister Hun Sen proclaimed on June 25 that Cambodia would celebrate the one-year anniversary of Preah Vihear temple's World Heritage listing on Tuesday, he sent the country into a flurry of activity.

Following Hun Sen's lead, Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema said in a meeting last week at City Hall that every ministry, company, school, hospital, pagoda and church should raise a Cambodian flag. In addition, he said people should ring bells at 11pm on July 7.

"We are doing this to make the Cambodian people proud of our nation and to encourage all soldiers who are protecting our country at the border," he said.

Kep Chuktema added that Cambodians should be happy about the anniversary despite lingering border tensions with Thailand.

We are doing this to make the cambodian people proud of our nation.

Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Mann Chhoeun said the government would put up Preah Vihear banners celebrating the temple in every pagoda and school.

"We will make that day a wonderful day for an anniversary. I deeply hope that many people will come celebrate together in order to show our real nationalism," he said, adding that there will be an increased police presence "because we don't want to have problems when we are happy".

Chhiv Sreyneang, a 25-year-old fruit vendor from Takeo province, said she would travel to Phnom Penh to celebrate the anniversary.

"I need to participate ... because it is our nation, and I am very proud for our country that we won against Thailand," she said. "

She said Hun Sen's decision to hold a celebration made her very proud and that she looked forward to showing the world Cambodia's unity.

"We all have to do a big anniversary for Preah Vihear temple in order show the world that Cambodian people love each other, love our nation and that we don't allow any other country to invade it," she said.



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