George Town, Malacca and Preah Vihear celebrate anniversary of inscription

One year after their inscription, how are the two new Southeast Asian World Heritage sites faring? Cambodia is celebrating with particular pride, after all the ill-will the listing has brought about against neighbouring Thailand. In Malaysia, worries about George Town (and therefore Malacca) will lose its heritage status are eased as an agreement has come with some developers to limit the height of their proposed constructions.

Cambodia marks anniversary of temple’s world heritage listing
AFP, 07 July 2009

Pride party for Preah Vihear
Phnom Penh Post, 06 July 2009

Border troops break bread
Phnom Penh Post, 06 July 2009

Penang stays on Unesco list
AP, via Straits Times, 01 July 2009

Malacca and George Town stay on Heritage list
The Sun, 29 June 2009

Cambodians on Tuesday noisily celebrated the first anniversary of the UN’s world heritage listing of an ancient temple which has stoked nationalist tensions with neighbouring Thailand.

Posters of the 11th century Preah Vihear temple were plastered in pagodas, schools and prominent locations around the capital Phnom Penh while celebrators screamed, “Long Live Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage Site!”

“As Cambodian people, we are very proud of Preah Vihear temple. We must celebrate this day, it is historic for us,” Phnom Penh governor Kep Chuktema said after a traditional dance ceremony at a pagoda in front of 1,000 people.

Waving colourful Cambodian flags, Buddhist monks, nuns, students and teachers gathered at pagodas and schools nationwide and promptly beat drums and rang bells at 11:00 am (0400 GMT) to herald the listing, officials said.

“I am very happy and proud of Preah Vihear temple. The temple belongs to Cambodia. Thailand has no right to claim it,” said student Hang Dalune as at another event as hundreds of people sang and danced to nationalist songs, waving Cambodian flags.


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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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