Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thai claim on temple dismissed

Thai claim on temple dismissed

Thai claim on temple dismissed

UNESCO has refused to hear a complaint by Thailand over Preah Vihear temple's listing as a World Heritage site at the annual meeting of its World Heritage Committee in Seville, Spain, Cambodian officials said Wednesday.

Last week, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva announced that Thailand would use the 33rd session of the committee to contest its July 2008 inscription of the temple.

"The Thais tried to put Preah Vihear on the agenda, but the World Heritage Committee won't consider [it]. They are moving ahead with the main agenda," Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said Wednesday.

Local civil society groups applauded the committee's move.

"It is good news that UNESCO has rejected the Thai government's request. UNESCO doesn't dare to violate Cambodian sovereignty by following the Thai PM's request because Cambodia is backed by the 1962 [World Court] decision," said Union leader Rong Chhun, a vocal critic of Thai moves over the temple.

Ou Virak, president of the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights, said that any other ruling would have undermined the committee's own decision to inscribe Preah Vihear last year.

He added that Bangkok, pressured by domestic opinion, had actually created more problems for itself by forcing the issue. "I think the fact they [objected] unsuccessfully just undermines the credibility of their own position," he said.

But following the decision, border troops say they remain on alert for any Thai incursions.

"We welcome the news that UNESCO has refused Thailand's request for a discussion about Preah Vihear temple," said Brigade 8 commander Yim Phim. "If [the Thais] ... do not try any more moves into Cambodian territory, there will be no clashes."


  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all