Thailand will ask the World Heritage Committee to review the decision to register Preah Vihear temple, on the border of Si Sa Ket province, as a World Heritage site under the sole supervision of Cambodia, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Wednesday.The Nation:
The prime minister said a World Heritage site is supposed to be an area where traces of culture and history are preserved, allowing tourists to see and admire them. But the registration of Preah Vihear had caused more conflict between the peoples of Thailand and Cambodia.
Mr Abhisit said Preah Vihear should be registered jointly as a World Heritage site by Thailand and Cambodia, not just by one country.
“I want to see the temple a peaceful area so that the people of the two countries can jointly benefit from this site of high historical importance,” said the prime minister.
Panithan Wattanayakorn, the PM’s deputy secretary-general and acting government spokesman, said Mr Suwit would attend the WHC meeting as a member of the Thai world heritage committee. He would submit the protest letter in the name of the committee, not the Thai government.
Thailand was not protesting against Cambodia’s application that Preah Vihear be listed as a World Heritage site, but against the decision approving the insciption of the temple, which had caused more problems, he said.
Thailand’s objection would not jeopardise relations with Cambodia as the government could explain its stance, Abhisit said. He did not discuss the matter with his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen when visiting Phnom Penh last week but hoped Cambodia would understand Thailand.BP: Is Abhisit in fairyland? The argument is that Preah Vihear shouldn’t be listed as hurts relations between the two (Dems were part of the nationalist campaign whipped up last year), but he thinks that Thailand’s opposition won’t affect relations with Cambodia. If ever there was an issue that Cambodians care about it is Preah Vihear.