2nd temple sparks Thai-Cambodian tension

August 5, 2008 at 9:08 am Leave a comment

August 05, 2008

(CNN) — Thailand and Cambodia have become ensnared in controversy over a second temple on disputed land along their border, the Thai news agency reported Monday.

Buddhist monks on Friday pray in a Buddhist temple which Thai troops have occupied in Cambodia.

Buddhist monks on Friday pray in a Buddhist temple which Thai troops have occupied in Cambodia.

The two nations have been at odds for weeks over which nation owns the land around the Preah Vihear temple, not far from the two nations’ border with Laos. Thailand and Cambodia stationed troops near the 11th century temple as the dispute intensified.

On Monday, Thailand asked Cambodia to withdraw troops from positions near a second site along the border — the Ta Muen Thom temple, the Thai news agency reported.

A Thai foreign ministry spokesman, Tharit Charungvat, told the news agency that Ta Muen Thom “is just one of several sites sitting on an unclear boundary between the two countries.”

Tension between the two nations heightened after the United Nations approved Cambodia’s application to have the Preah Vihear temple listed as a World Heritage Site — a place the United Nations says has outstanding universal value.

Some in Thailand feared that the United Nations’ action would make it difficult for Thailand to assert its claim to disputed land around the temple. Opposition parties used the issue to attack the government, which initially backed the heritage listing.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has been in power since 1985, portrayed the U.N. recognition as a national triumph.

On Friday, the Cambodian prime minister’s wife visited Cambodian troops “who were on guard” near the temple “to prevent Cambodia’s sovereignty from foreign invasion,” according to the Cambodian news


Entry filed under: Preah Vihear Issue. Tags: , .

Cambodia warned to ‘back off’ Cambodia demands Thai troops pull back

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