Thailand Withdraws Heritage Site Support for Hindu Temple

July 1, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Monster and Critics/Deutsche Presse-Agentur

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Thailand on Tuesday withdrew its support for a Cambodian proposal to list Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage site at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The Cabinet decided to backtrack on support for the controversial temple's listing to obey an Administrative Court order made over the weekend, Deputy Prime Somchai Wongsavat said.

It is unclear whether the government change in stance on the listing will derail Cambodia's proposal to list the centuries-old Hindu temple at UNESCO's upcoming meeting in Geneva on July 2-10.

Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, who is currently visiting China, called his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen to personally inform him of the cabinet decision and to urge him to guarantee the personal safety of Thai nationals living in Cambodia, said the Thai News Agency (TNA).

Preah Vihear, a stunning cliff-top temple dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva, has long been a source of diplomatic spats between the two neighbouring countries.