Despite mounting public concern, Thailand will not lose any sovereignty or even a single centimetre of territory from designating Preah Vihear Temple a World Heritage site, the Thai and Cambodian foreign ministries said yesterday.
“Whatever the World Heritage Committee decides on the application, the decision won’t affect Thai territory,” said Krit Kraichiti, director-general of Thailand’s Treaties and Legal Affairs Department.
In Phnom Penh, Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong (pictured) warned bilateral relations could be jeopardised by Thai opposition politicians if they used the controversial issue to advance their domestic political agenda.
The planned listing “absolutely does not affect” unresolved border issues in the area near the temple.
“Thailand will not lose even 1 centimetre of its territory” because of the listing, he said.
korn and Thammasat universities yesterday submitted to Unesco’s Bangkok office more than 30,000 names opposing Cambodia’s application.
Allowing Cambodia to list the temple alone entails a loss of Thai sovereignty, they said. Unesco should delay any decision until Thailand and Cambodia complete demarcation of the area claimed by both sides, said Walwipha Charoonroj, Thammasat’s expert on Thai studies.
The group, backed by the People’s Alliance for Democracy, said the best solution would be to include other parts recognised as Thai territory in the application. They also submitted a letter demanding participation in the application process to the Cambodian Embassy. The embassy rejected the letter, saying they should submit it through diplomatic channels.