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PVihear fundraising continues apace

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Cambodia's Supreme Patriarch leads the way by donating nearly $18,000 for a new tarmac road

Photo by: Heng Chivoan

Monks and soldiers walk through Preah Vihear temple earlier this year.

SUPREME Patriarch Nun Ngeth has raised 68.85 million riels (US$17,732) in donations to support the Bayon TV Foundation's campaign to pave the road leading up to Preah Vihear temple, but officials say more work needs to be done to bring the road up to a navigable standard.

Tith Thavrith, executive director of Bayon TV, said Tuesday the construction will be finished in early 2009, later than planned due to heavy rain and a shortage of funds.

"We didn't look over the master plan for the road renovation, we just started to work immediately," Tith Thavrith said, adding that the operation was about 60 percent completed.

"We have estimated on spending $1 million ... now the money [raised] has exceeded our target", but more is needed, he said.

Road needed fast

"We needed to have a paved road immediately. When renovations end, the road is expected to become easier to travel, which is good as it is the only way  to get along the mountain to the temple," Tith Thavrith said.

Bun Vanna, deputy chief of staff of Brigade 43 stationed at Preah Vihear, said the road up the mountain was difficult to traverse during heavy rain, and that only trucks could pass. Every day, dozens of military trucks drove up and down the road, transporting supplies to soldiers stationed at the temple.

"We want the road constructed quickly," Bun Vanna said. "They have bulldozed up to the temple already."   

The need for mountain access was highlighted after clashes between Cambodian and Thai soldiers earlier this month killed three Cambodian soldiers and one Thai soldier.

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