Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia rejects Thai ownership claim over temples



Cambodia rejects Thai ownership claim over temples

Cambodia rejects Thai ownership claim over temples

Flare-up over Ta Moan Thom and Ta Moan Touch ruins could complicate upcoming crisis talks over military standoff at Preah Vihear

Crossed lines

Ta Moan Thom temple and its smaller counterpart,

Ta Moan Touch, are ruins from the 13th-century located in Oddar Meanchey province. Both Cambodia and Thailand claim the temples, which are located in a disputed zone along the border.

CAMBODIA'S foreign ministry Tuesday rejected claims that any other country owned the Ta Moan Thom and Ta Moan Touch temples, two sets of ruins on the border with Thailand that have become the scene of another military standoff following the territorial dispute over land at Preah Vihear.

In a statement, the ministry outlined Cambodia's legal claim to the temples in Oddar Meanchey province, citing border demarcation documents from 1908 defining the frontier between Cambodia and Thailand.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs...therefore rejects any claim to the contrary to the legal rights of Cambodia," the ministry said.

Thai soldiers have occupied Ta Moan Touch on and off since 2001, but only recently deployed to Ta Moan Thom.

After a meeting last week between Thai and Cambodian officials, Thai soldiers withdrew from the temple, only to return over the weekend and seal the ruins off from Cambodia, reinforcing a small fence at the temple with wood and metal bars, according to military commanders in the area.

It is useless for the Thai side to

make a new border.

"Fifty of our soldiers were sent to the temple but they are not allowed to cross the gate," said Ho Bunthy, deputy commander of Border Military Unit 402.
"Our soldiers and the Thai soldiers are standing one metre from each other across the barbed wire," he told the Post.

The flare-up over the border threatens to complicate crisis talks between Cambodian and Thai foreign ministers on August 18 over the monthlong standoff at Preah Vihear.

"We will raise the issue of Preah Vihear and these two temples, along with border demarcation, at the foreign ministers's meeting next week," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Sin Bunthoeun.

"We want to confirm that both Ta Moan Thom and Ta Moan Touch are in Cambodian territory....They [the Thais] claim they belong to them based on a map they drew themselves."

Var Kimhong, chairman of the Joint Border Committee, alleged that Thai soldiers at Ta Moan Thom were placing fake border markers at the site to gain land illegally.

"It is useless for the Thai side to make a new border demarcation pole," he said. "They are  wasting cement trying to make fake border poles because everything along the border is documented."

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from