I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians
(Charles de Gaulle)
Published on 6 August 2010
Thailand and Cambodia both claim land around the Preah Vihear temple, named a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2008 after Cambodia applied for the status. Last week, Cambodia submitted a management plan for the temple, reviving the issue
About 1,500 members of a right-wing group ignored an emergency decree by demonstrating in the Thai capital, but heeded a government warning not to rally outside the prime minister's office, police said. The number of demonstrators at the Thai-Japanese Sports Stadium was expected to swell to 3,000, but no violence was expected, said police Major General Piya Uthayo.
The Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation said that the Thailand Patriot Network's plan to protest government policy over a land dispute with neighbouring Cambodia was not allowed under a state of emergency governing Bangkok. It broadcast a specific ban on the action in a statement read over Thai television on Friday night. The state of emergency was declared in April after anti-government protesters broke into the Parliament building to press their demands for early elections. About 90 people died and more than 1,400 were injured during two months of protests, which the army quashed by force on May 19.
The Thailand Patriot Network claims that the government is failing to aggressively pursue Thai claims to disputed land along the border with Cambodia. Thailand and Cambodia both claim land around the Preah Vihear temple, named a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2008 after Cambodia applied for the status. There have been small and sometimes deadly armed clashes in the area during the past few years.
Last week, Cambodia submitted a management plan for the temple, reviving the issue. The Thailand Patriot Network and other right-wing groups charge that the government should work harder to block the management plan. In Cambodia on Friday, Foreign Minister Hor Namhong told reporters that Thai attempts to claim Preah Vihear were pointless. One Thai suggestion is that that the two countries list Preah Vihear as a joint landmark with UNESCO. (RT: One week ago the UN cultural agency postponed to next year the discussion of a management plan for the ancient Preah Vihear temple proposed by Cambodia)
"It is too late now to oppose the Preah Vihear temple being listed as a World Heritage site and also too late to ask for a joint listing of the temple," he said. "All of these demands are just dreaming, please, prime minister of Thailand, stop dreaming like this."
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