MORE than 700 people visited Preah Vihear temple on Tuesday to mark the 48th anniversary of a ruling from the International Court of Justice awarding the 12th-century structure to Cambodia, officials said.
Hang Soth, director of the Preah Vihear National Authority, said that the temple usually receives around 300 visitors each day, and that Tuesday’s influx reflected a desire to celebrate the ruling.
“They seemed very happy, and they did not worry about anything, even though it is a place with tension and armed clashes between Thai and Cambodian forces in the past,” he said.
Long Sovann, chairman of the provincial council, said no formal celebrations were held on Tuesday, but said that plans were in the works for festivities marking the second anniversary of UNESCO’s July 2008 decision to designate Preah Vihear temple a World Heritage site.
“It is cheerful to remember the temple’s listing as a World Heritage site,” he said.
Yim Phim, commander of Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) Brigade 8, said Tuesday that the situation along the border is stable and that it is safe for people to visit the temple.
“If it was not safe, we would not allow them to go,” he said.