Cambodia Rejects Thailand’s Assertion over Preah Vihear Temple
Phnom Penh, February 9, 2011 AKP – The Spokesman of the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has issued a statement, rejecting Thai army’s assertion over Preah Vihear temple.
The following is the full statement dated Feb. 8:
“Col. Sansern Kaewkamnerd, spokesman of the Thai army stated as quoted in the Bangkok Post issued on 8 February 2011 that ‘Cambodia soldiers used the Preah Vihear temple as a heavy arms base to fire at Thai soldiers stationed in areas in Thai territory that were at lower elevation’.
The spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia strongly rejects such a slanderous assertion by Col. Sansern Kaewkamnerd. I wish to emphasize as follows:
There has never been and there will never be Cambodian soldiers at the TEMPLE OF PREAH VIHEAR. This has always a place for worship and tourism.
At all time there are only a small number of policemen with only light weapons to provide safety at the Temple site.
The above fabricated accusation of the Thai military spokesman is aimed only to justify Thailand’s attack on the TEMPLE OF PREAH VIHEAR, a World Heritage site.” –AKP
Cambodia Demands to Apply the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Goods in Case of Armed Conflict
Phnom Penh, February 9, 2011 AKP – Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Sok An, Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers and President of National Commission of Cambodia for UNESCO has sent a letter to UNESCO Director General Mrs. Irina Bokova, demanding the application of the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Goods in Case of Armed Conflict, The Hague, 1954.
The full letter dated Feb. 7 reads as follows:
Mrs. Irina BOKOVA
Director General of UNESCO
Phnom Penh, 7 February 2011
Subject: Urgent demand to apply the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Goods in Case of Armed Conflict, The Hague, 1954
I refer to my letter dated February 5, 2011. It is with deep sorrow that I find myself obligated to inform urgently Your Excellency of new attacks by the Thai armed forces against the Temple of Preah Vihear in spite of a series of negotiations between Khmer and Thai military officials.
These successive new large scale attacks by Thai troops against targets around the Temple of Preah Vihear and the sacred site of the Temple of Preah Vihear have caused, according to early assessment, significant damages to the Temple itself and in particular to Gopuras I, III, IV and V which were seriously damaged by Thai heavy artillery shelling on February 6, 2011.
We fear that other parts of the World Heritage Site will be damaged by Thai forces which continue to target it with artillery shelling.
The Royal Government of Cambodia considers that Thailand, a State Party to the 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Goods in Case of Armed Conflict, is in breach of Article 4.1 of the Convention and solicits Your Excellency immediate intervention in accordance with articles 21, 22 and 23 of the Convention.
In this context, the Royal Government of Cambodia requests that an urgent meeting of the Countries responsible for the protection or their representatives be convened including, in particular, representatives from the Kingdom of Cambodia and Thailand who are responsible for the protection of World Heritage sites. The objective will be to organize the protection of the Temple of Preah Vihear which is in grave danger of total destruction by Thai armed forces.
The Royal Government of Cambodia would welcome technical assistance from UNESCO to organize the protection of the sacred site of the Temple of Preah Vihear with the fielding of a group of experts to assess damages to the Temple and to take appropriate actions including the participation of UN military observers.
Please be assured, Excellency, of my high consideration.
President of National Commission of Cambodia for UNESCO
Deputy Prime Minister
Japanese Film Festival in Cambodia
Phnom Penh, February 9, 2011 AKP – The Japanese Embassy is organizing Japanese festival in Cambodia that will take place from Feb. to Mar. 2011 at Phnom Penh capital city and Siem Reap province.
The film festival, as stated a press release issued by the Embassy of Japan, aims to promote cultural exchange and mutual understanding between Cambodia and Japan.
Showcasing of Japanese educational, scientific and cultural films, the festival is opened to all Cambodian public free of charge.
Four famous films of the said kind, dubbed in Khmer language, will be played at Sorya Cinema 2 at Sorya shopping mall in Phnom Penh capital city on Feb. 12-13, and at Bayon Information Center in Siem Reap province on Mar. 6-7. –AKP
By MOM Chan Dara Soleil