Wednesday, 25.6.2008: The Cambodian Watchdog Council Said that the New Map Will Create a Loss of Land at the Area 3 around the Preah Vihear Temple

Posted on 25 June 2008. Filed under: Week 566 | Tags: , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 566

“Mr. Ear Chana released, on behalf of the secretary-general of the Cambodian Watchdog Council, on 23 June 2008, a statement that there is a loss of land at Area 3 of the Preah Vihear Temple. This is the statement:

“According to the joint statement of 18 June 2008, signed by the Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Sok An, and by Thai Foreign Minister Mr. Noppadon Pattama, and Mrs. Françoise Rivière, UNESCO Deputy Director for Culture, about the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site, and a new map that the Cambodian government sent to UNESCO, we found a part of Cambodian territory at the west and the north of the temple (or Area 3) is lost.

“The Cambodian government seems to fall into a trap of Thailand by listing only the body of the Preah Vihear Temple and the areas which extend 30 meters from the temple, but do not include the Area 3 which should also have been listed.

“According to our own experience from visits with students from different universities in Phnom Penh in 2001 and 2004, we found that the Cambodian government is creating a loss of land, by agreeing to create a new map, especially as it does not include Area 3 as Cambodian territory. Obviously, based on two visits, we found that the loss of land in Area 3 is an obstacle for tourists to climb up to the Preah Vihear Temple from Cambodia, because the areas at the east and the south are extremely steep to climb up and go down.

“According to the Deputy Director of the Cambodian Border Committee, it shows that The Hague International Court of Justice in 1962 used a 1:2000 scale map for the Preah Vihear Temple, and that map is being kept at the court. In addition, the French-Siem [Thai] Treaties in 1904 and 1907 show clearly the land border and sea border between Cambodia and Thailand, especially they show that the Area 3 definitely belongs to Cambodia, which contradicts some Thai positions which say that the border at the Preah Vihear Temple is at the steps to the temples.

“We agree with UNESCO, working to maintain cultural heritage, but we cannot give up the Hague verdict of 1962 about the Preah Vihear Temple and its area, based on the 1904 and 1907 French-Siem Treaties, especially the listing of land in Area 3 – otherwise Cambodia will lose this land to Thailand.

”We found that Thailand never dared to invade territories of Malaysia or Burma, because the governments of both countries are strongly committed to protect their territories. Only the territory of Cambodia has repeatedly been invaded by Thailand.. Moreover, Thailand never dared to protest officially on the international level; it just tries to make trouble for Cambodia. This shows that Thailand intends to invade Khmer territory and to block the Cambodian economic breath of tourism, absorbed by the Preah Vihear Temple.

“We would like to give the recommendation to the Cambodian government, that if the government is still intent to list the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site, being an independent nation with patriotism, the government has to:

Remove the new map and use a map from The Hague for the proposal of the listing of the temple.

List the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site unilaterally.

“By the evening of 24 June 2008, the border crossing at the Preah Vihear Temple is still closed, while there are still about 10 Siamese [Thai] demonstrators far from the temple. According to news sources, this closure was ordered by the Khmer Ministry of Interior. This situation might last longer, if there are still demonstrations from Thai nationals. As for the Thai side, it is reported they agree with the closure of the border crossing in front of the Preah Vihear Temple.

“The commercial activities at the temple, both by Khmer and by Thai vendors, are reported to be closed down temporarily. However, generally we found that for the Thai side, both sales and other services lost much more than on the Khmer side. Nevertheless, the Khmer side worries about more than 100 families living on the Preah Vihear mountain who depend on business and on selling things on this mountain. People who are members of the soldiers’ and the police’s families ask for assistance from the authorities and the government. There is still nobody who provides assistance to those people since the closure, besides presents brought by journalists for the forces guarding the Preah Vihear Temple since late last week.

“Local observers find that the statement of Cambodian Watchdog Council is one thing, but what is more important is that the Cambodian Watchdog Council should try to seek additional assistance for the families of the soldiers and of the police who are facing difficulties. However, they noticed that the Cambodian Watchdog Council seems not to pay attention to the difficulties of the temple’s guards. On the contrary, they benefit from the difficulties of the soldiers’ and the police’s families.

“The listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site triggers some reactions from Siamese nationals who are an anti-government group [of Thailand] during these days. However, the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple is expected to face no obstacle, although there are some demonstrations held by a small number of Siamese.” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3342, 25.6.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Angkor Kampuchea, Vol.2, #15, 25.6.-1.7.2008

  • Illegal Yuon [Vietnamese] Immigrants Run Wood Workshops in Stung Treng; Yeay [Grandmother] Phoeung [a Vietnamese] Is the Biggest Illegal Wood Merchant in Town

Deum Ampil, Vol.2, #, 25.6-1.7.2008

  • For the Listing of Preah Vihear as a World Heritage Site, [Deputy Prime Minister and Senior Minister in Charge of the Council of Ministers] Mr. Sok An Led a Delegation to Québec [Canada – 24 June 2008]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1676, 25.6.2008

  • For the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Both Money and Time Have to Be Reduced [from US$170 million to US$143 million, and from five years to three years (2008 to 2010)]
  • A Group of Montagnards Tried to Break a Fence to Get out and Hold a Demonstration, but Were Prevented Immediately [according to the Ministry of Interior in charge of Immigration, the group of more than 200 Montagnards, who are under the control of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR] at Phnom Penh, tried to hold a demonstration to get five conditions accepted: 1. They do not agree to return to Vietnam, unless UNCHR accepts their request that the Vietnamese government agree with their demands first, 2. They ask for the respect of Human Rights, 3. They request freedom of religion, because most of them are Christian, 4. They request to receive their land back legally, which has been seized by the Vietnamese authorities, and 5. They request the release of minority tribespeople arrested by the Vietnamese authorities]
  • The Lions Clubs International Grants Aid to the Japan Mine Action Service to Support Mine Clearance in Cambodia [two cars and many other materials, such as bullet-proof protective vests and helmets]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #184, 25.6.2008

  • [Deputy Secretary-General of the Sam Rainsy Party] Mu Sochua: Inflation Rises, but Statistics Are Not Published, this Is a Sign of Irresponsibility of the Government

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #32, 25.6.2008

  • Fishing Community Is Concerned about the Use of Illegal Fishing Materials [Stung Treng]]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6380, 25.6.2008

  • About the Preah Vihear Temple Issue, the Thai Prime Minister [Samak Sundaravej] Points Out: Actually, on the Preah Vihear Temple Is the Cambodian Flag
  • The [Khmer Rouge] Tribunal Announced that US$143 Was Paid [for the former Khmer Rouge head of state] Khiev Samphan When He Was Referred to the Hospital Again [according to the Khmer Rouge tribunal spokesperson Mr. Reach Sambath, the health condition of Mr. Khiev Samphan is normal; he was sent to the hospital for a medical checkup]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3495, 25.6.2008

  • Lawyer [of the former Khmer Rouge leader Mr. Ieng Sary, Mr. Ang Udom] Asserted that Ieng Sary Is in a Serious Health Condition in Custody
  • Corruption and Illegal Immigrants Are Issues That the Cambodian People’s Party Finds Hard to Talk about

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4624, 25.6.2008

  • Thailand Steps Up Forces to Protect Cambodian Embassy in Bangkok [from being attacked by Thai demonstrators]
  • ADB Provided US$12.1 Million for Public Financial Administration Project [23 June 2008]
  • 300 International Observers Will Join the Observation of the Upcoming Election [according to Mr. William Clive, Director of the Technical Services of the UN Development Program]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3342, 25.6.2008

  • The Cambodian Watchdog Council Said that the New Map Will Create a Loss of Land at the Area 3 around the Preah Vihear Temple

Have a look at the last editorial – it is almost frightening to see to which extent there are strong emotions, disregarding related legal documents.

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