Temple standoff on two fronts again

Cambodia contests ownership of Ta Moan Thom as Thailand returns troops to occupy the temple, while at Preah Vihear the standoff has caused a surge of visitors in nationalistic fervour.

Cambodia reasserts claim over border temples
AP, via International Herald Tribune, 12 August 2008

Funds pour into Preah Vihear
Phnom Penh Post, 12 August 2008

Tourist visits double at Preah Vihear
Phnom Penh Post, 12 August 2008

Cambodia reasserted its claim Tuesday over ancient border temples that also are claimed by Thailand ahead of talks next week on lingering territorial disputes.

The foreign ministers of the two countries are to meet Monday in Thailand to try to defuse military standoffs along their shared border — first near the 11th century Preah Vihear temple and then at the 13th century Ta Moan Thom temple.

Ta Moan Thom is several hundred miles (kilometers) west of Preah Vihear, where Cambodian and Thai soldiers have been facing off for four weeks in a dispute over 1.8 square miles (4.6 square kilometers) of nearby land.

The Cambodian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday that Ta Moan Thom “is clearly situated in the Cambodian territory.”


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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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