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Preah Vihear temple part of Thailand: “Moronic” opinion from a reader of the Bangkok Post

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Wednesday January 30, 2008
Bangkok Post Postbag
As a Khmer architecture junkie, I find Dr Reiff’s rationale somewhat presumptive in maintaining that since the Preah Vihear temple has Hindu elements, it therefore should belong to Cambodia (Postbag, Jan 29). There are many temples along the royal road from Angkor Wat to Phimai (such as Surin, Prachin Buri and Buri Ram) that have Hindu elements and Khmer style of architecture, and yet, indisputably they belong to the modern Siam (Thailand). Phnom Rung in Buri Ram, another potential World Heritage site with plenty of Khmer art, is definitely not claimable by Cambodia. The judgement of the Court of Justice in The Hague on the territory of Preah Vihear temple was only a legalistic interpretation and, with due respect to the court, all the Thai governments since the ruling date have accepted the decision.However, it is an indisputable fact that natural access to the Preah Vihear temple has to be made through Thai territory and hence physically it is difficult for visitors not to view the temple as being within Thai territory.In theory, the temple may belong to Cambodia, but in practice, the temple is part of Thailand.So it is rather ludicrous for Cambodia to ask the UN to recognise the temple as a World Heritage site without Thailand’s participation.


Written by Kolbot Khmer

February 17, 2008 at 8:16 pm

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