Thai protesters urge gov't to withdraw from Thai-Cambodian statement on Preah Vihear

Monday, July 27, 2009

BANGKOK, July 27 (Xinhua) -- A group of Thai people following up the Preah Vihear dispute rallied in front of the Government House Monday morning, calling on the government to withdraw from a joint Thai-Cambodian statement issued on June 18, 2008.

The joint statement, which supports Cambodia's unilateral listing of the ancient temple as a world heritage site, was signed by then Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama without prior consent of the parliament, according to the Bangkok Post's website.

The government should formally inform the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the world community about the Thai withdrawal from the joint-Thai-Cambodian statement, said the group led by Walwipa Jaroonroj, an academic at the Institute of Thai Studies at Bangkok's Thammasat University.

Thailand should step up its opposition to Cambodia's unilateral registration of Preah Vihear as the world heritage site, otherwise Thailand could lose its sovereignty over the 4.6-square-kilometer border area, said the group.

The disputed area of 4.6 square kilometers along the Thai-Cambodian border has never been demarcated as the two neighboring countries have historically laid claim to the dispute-border site.

The area is located on a mountaintop on the Thai-Cambodia border, and it is easier to be accessed from Thailand.

The International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that Preah Vihear temple belonged to Cambodia.
Editor: Anne Tang


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