Cambodia seeks international help for Preah Vihear

Following the latest damage to the Preah Vihear temple from the firefight in early April, the Cambodian government intends to ask the international community for guarantees of protection for the site. While the site definitely needs protection from vandals, I can’t help but wonder if this is just a way for the Cambodian government to up the pressure on the Thais (particularly in their current state of turmoil) and get them to back down? This move does not square with the resolution of both countries to solve the conflict at the diplomatic table.

Cambodian gov’t agrees to contain temple vandalism with int’l intervention
Xinhua, 14 April 2009

The Cambodian government has agreed to ask for international intervention to help contain vandalism of the 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple at the border area with Thailand, national media said on Tuesday.

The government agrees with the proposals submitted by some NGOs(non-government organization) to guarantee the security of the temple with international law, and sue any ruiner for vandalism at the international community, spokesman of the Cambodian Council of Ministers Phay Siphan told Chinese-language daily newspaper the Commercial News.

The temple was awarded with the title of World Heritage Site inJuly 2008 by UNESCO (the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization), and it deserves Cambodian as well as international management and protection, he said.


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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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