06 July 2007 (The Nation [Link no longer available]) – A dispute about Thai military wearing uniforms on the premises leads to the army closing the entrance to the Angkor temple of Preah Vihear. The 11th century temple is located on Cambodian soil, but the only entrance is through the Thai side of the border.
Mutual ties not affected by Phreah Vihear dispute : Thai ambassador [Link no longer available]
Thailand’s concerns about unsettled border issues, which resulted in Unesco’s decision to delay Cambodia’s request to list the Phreah Vihear shrine as World Heritage site, will not affect ThailandCambodia relations, said Thai Ambassador to Cambodia Viraphand Vacharathit.
Cambodia understood the Thai position that there were still certain unsettled issues including border demarcation, he said.
Unesco’s World Heritage committee delayed until next year a decision to put the shrine on the World Heritage list. The decision came after Thailand argued that the Thai-Cambodian border has yet to be demarcated and a joint management plan for the area is still being discussed.
The Thai envoy said Cambodia is well aware that its request was not rejected but only delayed until next year’s meeting, While some local Cambodian media wanted to instigate publicity, the majority of the Khmer people including the government understood the matter.
The ambassador reiterated that the Unesco panel based its decision on the basis that it needed more information and related documents concerning Cambodia’s request about Preah Vihear.
The panel asked Cambodia to resubmit its request in February next year.
Meanwhile a senior Thai army officer said the Thai army has closed the entrance to Phreah Vihear, close to Si Sa Ket province, after refusing to abide by a Cambodian order not to wear uniforms when they visit the venue.
The Cambodian side claimed that seeing the Thai military in uniform will not be good for tourism in Preah Vihear.