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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cambodia stands firm on temple talks set for June in France

CHIANG MAI, May 28 -- The Cambodian government has rejected a plan proposed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to delay the consideration of management plan for Preah Vihear temple until Thailand and Cambodia finish border demacation, said Thai Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Suwit Khunkitti on Saturday.

Speaking to journalists after returning from a special meeting organised by UNESCO held earlier this week in Paris, which ended in deadlock, Mr Suwit, who headed the Thai delegation at the meeting, said the Cambodian delegates led by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An was against the idea of postponement of management plan for Preah Vihear, which was earlier listed as World Herritage.

He said a fresh talks on the issue between Thailand and Cambodia may be organised again just before the 25th session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee (WHC) scheduled to be held between June 19-29.

Delegations from Thailand and Cambodia had spent three days on bilateral and individual consultations at UNESCO but failed to reach any agreement on disputes over the Preah Vihear temple.

The UNESCO-organised meeting was scheduled prior to the meeting of the World Heritage Committee in an attempt to resolve the two countries differences, after Cambodia opposed Thailand's request that the committee defer consideration of Cambodia's one-party Preah Vihear management plan until the International Court of Justice rules on its complaint and awaiting progress on border demarcation at the Thai-Cambodian General Border Committee (GBC) meeting.

Last month Cambodia asked the court to clarify a 1962 ruling on the ancient Hindu temple on its disputed border with Thailand following recent deadly armed clashes between the two neighbouring countries.

Members of the WHC and UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova are scheduled to meet between June 19-29 in France, after this week's discussions on the management plan for areas surrounding the World Heritage-listed Preah Vihear temple ended without any headway, while Thailand was able to convince the world agency to postpone consideration of the disputed issue until border demarcation work is completed.

The Cambodian delegates were against Thailand's proposal on the postponement and also asked to amend two or three points. Thailand has to see whether the changes, if made, would have any impact on the country with regards to the disputed land, Mr Suwit said.

He reiterated that talks on the framework of the two countries' General Border Committee (GBC) must be cleared first before next month's WHC session in Paris.

Mr Suwit insisted that border demarcation work must also be completed before the management plan for the disputed area is finalized.

The Paris-based UN cultural branch said in a statement following the meeting between Mr Suwit and Mr Sok An that the UNESCO Director-General Bokova expressed her disappointment on Friday after Thai and Cambodian delegations failed to reach an agreement on disputes over the Temple of Preah Vihear.

Though the two parties had "affirmed their will to protect and preserve the Temple," Bokova voiced "disappointment at the fact that no agreement was reached between the Parties on concrete steps ahead of the forthcoming World Heritage Committee session," said the statement.

"I appeal to both countries to pursue efforts towards achieving a common agreement before the World Heritage Committee session in June in a spirit of cooperation and constructive dialogue," the UNESCO chief said.

The International Court of Justice in 1962 ruled that the 11th century Preah Vihear temple belonged to Phnom Penh, while the UNESCO named it a World Heritage site in July 2008 after Cambodia unilaterally applied for the status. Clashes in the area have occurred frequently since then, as both countries claim a 4.6-square-kilometre patch of land near the cliff-top temple. (MCOT online news)
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Cambodia 'opposes' bid to delay temple plan

By The Nation on Sunday

Cambodia has voiced opposition to a Thai proposal to delay Unesco's bid to consider the management plan for Preah Vihear Temple, Suwit Khunkitti, the Natural Resources and Environment Minister, says.

Suwit, who has just returned from France, said Unesco did not want to see more casualties in the Thai-Cambodian conflict revolving around Preah Vihear Temple, which was unilaterally listed by Cambodia as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Thailand has asked Unesco to postpone deliberations on the management plan for Preah Vihear to the 2012 meeting.

Thailand also has proposed hosting the next meeting, as have Cambodia and Russia.

However, Cambodia was against the postponement and wanted the Preah Vihear management plan to be discussed at the upcoming meeting from June 19-29.

Thailand's position is that the management plan should be discussed only when the Thai-Cambodian border demarcation is done. Suwit said a further delay is in Thailand's interest and it would take some time to complete the border demarcation if both countries join hands to do that.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya will soon hand documents and other evidence to the International Court of Justice in The Hague to defend Thailand after Cambodia asked the court to interpret the 1962 ruling on Preah Vihear Temple.

Kasit said Unesco appeared to have a good understanding of the issue, as the border has not yet been agreed on.
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Vietnam, Cambodia cooperate in rubber planting

Yuon Khmer friendship is YUO business on Khmer land.  It is the very high demands never end.  We don't need this kind cooperation any more.  Is Hun Sen being stupid?

(VOV) - Vietnam is currently implementing rubber growing projects in Cambodia, aiming to plant 100,000 hectares of rubber trees in five Cambodian provinces by 2012.

The projects are part of a trade promotion plan approved by the Prime Ministers of both countries at the Vietnam-Cambodia business conference in April 2011.

A seminar was held in Phnom Penh on May 27 to offer tax reductions and exemptions for businesses involved in rubber growing projects in Cambodia.

Cambodian officials highlighted the significance and benefits of these projects, saying that the projects helped upgrade infrastructure, provide clean water, build houses for workers and pagodas for religious followers, thereby improving local people’s incomes. Read more!