Thursday, 17 February 2011

Some 120 Thai MPs Oppose Listing Of Preah Vihear Temple

via CAAI

BANGKOK, Feb 16 (Bernama) -- A total of 120 Thai MPs of the ruling Democrat Party and its coalition partners on Wednesday afternoon submitted a letter to House Speaker, calling him to ask UNESCO to halt the plan to list Preah Vihear temple as a world heritage site, Thai News Agency reported on Wednesday.

An MP of Democrat Atthaporn Polbutr, as a spearhead of the group, said he and his colleagues oppose the encryption of the ancient temple because the area around Preah Vihear temple is still a disputed area, and that has become a cause of clashes between Thai and Cambodian troops on Feb 4 to 7.

"If UNESCO approves Cambodia's listing request, the current bad ties between Thailand and the neighbouring country will worsen. This could lead to confrontation and possible war between the two countries," the Democrat list MP said.

Atthaporn believed the listing of Preah Vihear temple could be done only after the land demarcation in the disputed border area is agreed by the two countries.

He wanted the House Speaker to pass on the opinion of 120 MPs to the director-general of UNESCO.

Fresh skirmishes along Thai-Cambodian border re-occurred again early Wednesday morning at Phu Makua Mountain near the Hindu temple, seriously injuring one soldier on Thai side.

Thai residents at the border area have witnessed several small clashes of both countries after the most serious firings although the two countries, ASEAN and UN Security Council have been demanding for "permanent ceasefire".

Preah Vihear temple, known in Thai as Pra Viharn temple, and its surrounding area have been a source of tension between Thailand and Cambodia for decades.

The listing of the temple as a world heritage site by Cambodia in 2008 triggered military build- up along the border and occasionally led to cross-border fighting.

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