Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Cambodia Can Look After Its Temples: Experts

Written by DAP NEWS -- Wednesday, 09 September 2009

Cambodian experts expressed dismay over Thai claims that Cambo- dian officials appointed to look after Khmer temples lack skills.

Thai Arts General Department Director Kreang Krai told the Thai media that there had been some difficulties of his group in looking after Cambodia’s Preah Vihear temple for more than a year as two both sides have dug in soldiers at the border.

“Looking after is not as easy as the previous time so that we have to reach looking after nearby temples such as Stock Kok temple, Tamoan Thom Temple, and Tamon Toch temple,” said the official, referring to the ancient Cambodian temples of Ta Moan Thom and Ta Moan Toch.

The official went on to claim that the Preah Vihear temple has suffered in the absence of attention. One member of his group blamed all mistakes on ex-Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, who he said abused of Article 190 by supporting Cambodia’s effort to inscribe Preah Vihear as a Cambodian World Heritage Site was not passed by the Thai National Assembly.

In response, Hang Sot, Cambodian Preah Vihear general-director, told DAP News Cambodia on Tuesday that “this is the raising of Thailand to claim that Cambodia does not have the ability to look after all Cambodian temples by itself.”

He called the claims “completely groundless,” as “We can look after our selves effectively.”

The Thais, historically a relative newcomer to the Southeast Asia region after being displaced from Southern China, “do not have any ancestral any living temples to their children,” Hang Sot claimed.

Preah Vihear temple has indeed suffered damage recently—from Thai bullets and shrapnel fired during two skirmishes with Cambodia that resulting in several deaths and many injuries. The previous Thai Govern-ment supported Cambodia’s effort to inscribe Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage Site, in addition to the wealth of internationally recognized documents and maps that clearly show that the land belongs to Cambodia.

Ros Chandarabot, a Cambodian historical official, told DAP News Cambodia that “the temple is in Cambodia so that Cambodia realizes how to look after by our self”.

“Thailand not only wants Cambo- dian temples, but also value culture of Cambodia, They claimed to rule,” he added. However, he requested all Thai public and leaders to be aware of France-Siem treaty between 1904 and 1907.

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