Published: 26/04/2011 at 06:02 PM
The United Nations Edcuational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) should show responsibility because the listing of Preah Vihear temple as a world heritage site has resulted in border clashes between Thailand and Cambodia, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Suwit Khunkitti said on Tuesday.
Mr Suwit, chief of the Thai delegation to the World Heritage Committee meeting to be held in Paris in June, said this after a new round of fighting erupted between Thai and Cambodian troops around Preah Vihear temple in Si Sa Ket's Kantharalak district.
Villagers living around the Phra Viharn National Park and park officials have all been evacuated for safety, he said.
Mr Suwit said he would compile information for submission to Unesco to show that before Cambodia applied for the listing of Preah Vihear temple as a world heritage site the area was visited by a large number of tourists.
But, after the listing, the temple has been closed, followed by border clashes that resulted in many deaths and injuries.
Mr Suwit said it is necessary for him to tell the world community that the key to solving the conflict is for the two countries in conflict to complete demarcation of the disputed area.
He called for Cambodia to return to negotiations under the Joint Boundary Commission (JBC) framework, saying that this is the best way to end the whole problems.
Standing to lose in the conflict is the peoples of the two countries in terms of trade and economy, not the governments, he added.
Mr Suwit said he will on May 25 attend a bilateral meeting, organised by Unesco, with the Cambodian delegation prior to the WHC meeting.
The minister called for Unesco to show reponsibility.
He said clashes between the two countries derived from the fact that the temple listing was approved while the demarcation of the disputed area has not been completed.