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Preah Vihear soldiers plan joint ceremony

Preah Vihear soldiers plan joint ceremony

CAMBODIAN and Thai soldiers stationed at the border near the disputed Preah Vihear temple complex plan to hold a joint ceremony this week to promote good relations between the two groups.

Ten Navun, a first lieutenant with the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) stationed at the border, said that the ceremony will take place in Ta Thav, about 7 kilometres from the temple, and that it is tentatively scheduled for Saturday.

"Both sides agreed to hold the ceremony together at Ta Thav in mid-August. Our ceremony's purpose is to develop understanding and ease tensions between the two groups," Ten Navun said. In addition to soldiers from Cambodia and Thailand, monks and government officials from both countries are to be present at the ceremony, he added.

Ros Heng, governor of Chom Ksan district in Preah Vihear province, said Monday that though he hoped the ceremony would bring some good, he doubted it would have a long-term impact.

"We all support this ceremony, but ceremonies and blessings won't stop the tension here. The important thing is that the Thais respect their agreements with Cambodia," he said.

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