Cambodian historian Michel Tranet couldn’t believe Thailand opposes the listing Preah Viear as World Heritage Site
Saturday, January 26, 2007
Rasmei Kampuchea newspaper
Translated from Khmer by SocheataCambodian Historian Michel Tranet said that he cannot believe yet the report about whether Thailand opposes or not the listing of Preah Vihear Temple on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Michel Tranet said: “What do they (Thailand) actually mean? If this is true (that Thailand opposes Preah Vihear’s listing), then it is a shame for Thailand.” He said: “Preah Vihear Temple is on the Cambodian territory, and it was recognized by the world. Cambodia has the right to list it as a World Heritage Site.”Michel Tranet does not believe that Thailand could think in this manner. He compares Thailand’s opposition of the listing of Preah Vihear in the World Heritage Site to an unfeasible feat, just like the demand to return the Khmer province of Surin (in Thailand), and the demand to return Kampuchea Krom (South Vietnam) back to Cambodia are unfeasible.He also talked about the necessity of Cambodia and Thailand to live in brotherhood and they must cooperate with each other. He said that we can cooperate with each other if Thailand wants to develop Preah Vihear, but under Cambodia’s supervision, in that case “we welcome it.” Cambodia’s goal is to list Preah Vihear as a World Heritage Site, and this action was welcomed and supported by the world, and in particular by a number of major countries in the world.In mid-January, 8 counties and 8 National and International organizations met to discuss the results of research on the conservation development and the renovation of Preah Vihear Temple. This is a precursor to the upcoming proclamation of the inclusion of Preah Vihear in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, during the 32nd UNESCO plenary session meeting in 2008.Nevertheless, the latest news published by Thailand’s The Nation newspaper on 25 January, indicated that after the publication of the spokesman of Thailand’s Defense Ministry, this spokesman and the spokesman of Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs came out to confirm that the previous declaration (made on 24 January) was a mistake and an error that could lead to the deterioration of the good relationships between the two countries.The two Thai spokesmen said that army officials from Cambodia and Thailand spoke to each others over the phone and came to an understanding on this issue already.Tharit Charungvat, spokesman for Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, indicated that the listing of Preah Vihear as a World Heritage Site will take place normally, and that Thailand will not lose any territory from this listing. He claimed that the incident which took place does not affect the relationships between Cambodia and Thailand.