Communique from Norodom Sihanouk
Phnom Penh, 8 July 2008
I. Certain journalists are writing that the main entrance to the Preah Vihear temple faces Thailand and not Cambodia.
The Thais have said, say and have written and write that one of the
“proofs” of Thai ownership of Preah Vihear is constituted by the fact
that access to the temple is infinitely more easy from the Thai side
rather than from the Cambodian side.
III. These journalists and
these Thais seem to ignore the following historic facts, ones which
amply prove that the mountain and the temple of Preah Vihear are 100%
Cambodian and belong 100% to Cambodia.
a/. The construction (10th and 11th centuries) of Preah Vihear by two successive Khmer Kings and is a purely Khmer work.
b/. The mountain and the temple of Preah Vihear could be
found, during the 10th and 11th centuries, “very much in the interior”
of Kampuchea, in the Khmer Empire, of which the borders extended for
hundreds of kilometers, to the north, the east and west, much further
than the current Cambodian borders with Thailand and Laos.
As a consequence, the mountain and the Preah Vihear temple could be
found not on the Cambodia-Siam (Thai) border but “deep in the interior”
of the Kingdom (of the Khmer Empire) and the “main entrance” of Preah
Vihear “looked” not towards Siam (Thailand) but to Kampuchea.
c/. The International Court in the Hague, which in 1962, rendered
justice to Cambodia, did not ignore all this, and let me, once again,
offer them a respectful and admiring homage.
d/. Thanks to
Khmer Sovereignty and the Khmer empire (Angkorian in particular) ,
present day Thailand is very rich in Angkorian style Khmer temples and
[It is] absolutely wrong and gives proof to the meanness, which, in Thailand, causes to Cambodia and its people undeserved and anachronistic troubles concerning the temple of Preah Vihear, instead of devoting ourselves to the harmonious and fruitful development of our friendship and our (authentic) brotherhood (Thai-Cambodian).
(signed) Norodom Sihanouk