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Hun Sen notes iconic Preah Vihear temple anniversary

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June 15 is the 58th anniversary of when the ICJ in The Hague, Netherlands, ruled in Cambodia’s favour against Thailand in the Temple of Preah Vihear case. Heng Chivoan

Hun Sen notes iconic Preah Vihear temple anniversary

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday posted a Facebook message commemorating the 58th anniversary of the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision that the Temple of Preah Vihear legally belonged to Cambodia.

In the post, Hun Sen said: “This June 15 is the 58th anniversary of when the ICJ in The Hague, Netherlands, ruled in Cambodia’s favour against Thailand in the Temple of Preah Vihear case.”

Hun Sen also recalled that the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk had strenuously performed his duty to have the temple listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, which it was on July 7, 2008.

Cambodian historian Sambo Manara told The Post on Tuesday that even though Cambodia had not held a grand ceremony commemorating the anniversary, the senior leader’s message showed responsibility to historical leadership and served as a reminder of the great work of the late King Father, who had demanded the temple from Thailand.

Manara said: “Usually when the leaders post the message, it is a show of great national pride. This means that he highlighted the ceremony and places a [high] value on ancestors and awareness of history.

“It teaches the nation and the international community that Cambodia received official ownership of the Temple of Preah Vihear on June 15.”

Manara reminded younger generations to strive to learn about history. He said he spreads history by teaching lessons and advising people to attend commemorative ceremonies every year.

“As a historian, I call on all children to heed these national values and this pride because on June 15, 1962, we thought it was finished but it wasn’t.

“On the contrary, in 2008, there was also an incident [Thai soldiers occupied Cambodian territory], so we need to learn all history,” he said.

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