Friday, 26 June 2009

Thailand, Cambodia deploy more troops at historic temple

MCOT English News

NAKHON RATCHASIMA, June 25 (TNA) - Troop reinforcements from both Thailand and Cambodia have been deployed around Preah Vihear temple, following Thailand's opposition to the World Heritage Committee and United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) granted-listing of the historic temple as a World Heritage sie, a senior Thai army officer said Thursday.

Second Region army commander Lt. Gen. Wiboonsak Neeparn said the overall situation at the temple on the Thai-Cambodian border remains calm.

However, he said both Thai and Cambodian troops had been deployed at Preah Vihear and that he had ordered Thai soldiers taking up positions in the area to be on alert and to exercise patience.

UNESCO granted Cambodia’s application for Preah Vihear temple to be designated a World Heritage Site in July 2008. Thailand opposes listing the temple on the basis that it might go against the registration process and was in breach of the principles of world heritage stipulated by the UNESCO.

Meanwhile, Kasemsan Chinnawaso, director-general of the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, said the Thai national park near Preah Vihear temple had been closed indefinitely due to concerns over tourist safety of tourists in the face of tensions in the area.

Mr. Kasemsan said he was requested by the governor of Si Sa Ket province to open the park to welcome tourists visiting it during Buddhist Lent on July 8, but he had opted to keep it closed for safety reasons.

He said the national park would reopen when the situation at the border returns to normal. (TNA)

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