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Pattaya Daily News

26 May 2011 :: 09:05:04 am 54057

Thailand unperturbed by Cambodian charges on Preah Vihear shooting: PM

BANGKOK, May 25 - Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Wednesday downplayed allegations by Phnom Penh that the ancient Preah Vihear Hindu temple was attacked by Thai troops in the recent border skirmishes, asserting that Indonesian observers would not be allowed to enter disputed area unless the General Border Committee (GBC) meeting is held.
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The Thai prime minister made his remarks following reports that Cambodia will file a complaint with the World Heritage Committee (WHC) accusing Thai troops of firing about 400 rounds of ammunition targeting the ancient temple ruin.

Mr Abhisit said he is unworried about the latest move of the Cambodian government as it is clear that Cambodia breached the WHC agreement by allowing its troops to enter Preah Vihear temple.

“We also stand firm that the sole management of Preah Vihear temple and its surrounding area by Cambodia will intensify the conflict and every country concerned should help ease the problem, not creating the new ones,” according to Mr Abhisit.

The meeting between Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia on the renewed border dispute has been held during the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) early this month, with the conclusion that the observers from Indonesia could come to inspect the border areas after agreeing to withdraw Cambodian troops from the 4.6 sq km area is signed as a result from the GBC meeting between both neighbours.

Cambodian Defence Minister Tea Banh did not adhere to the agreement we made at the ASEAN summit, Mr Abhisit said.

As Cambodia charged that Thailand has cancelled the planned GBC meeting, Mr Abhisit denied the allegation, saying the GBC meeting can still be held.

Thai Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Suwit Khunkitti is now in Paris to meet with WHC and his Cambodian counterpart, prior to the meeting of the UNESCO the World Heritage Committee scheduled to be held in June.

The premier said he can assess the situation regarding the UNESCO posigion only when Minister Suwit returns from the Paris meeting, but said he always believed that Thailand and Cambodia could still solve the border dispute by dialogue.

The International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled 49 years ago that the 11th-century Preah Vihear belonged to Cambodia, although its primary entrance lies in Thailand. However both countries claim ownership of the 4.6-square-kilometre (1.8-square-mile) surrounding area.

Last month Cambodia asked the World Court to clarify a 1962 ruling about the ancient temple on its disputed border with Thailand following the latest armed clashes between the two neighbouring countries.

Report by : MCOT

Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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