>UNESCO: “Too Late” For Thailand To Oppose The Listing Of Preah Vihear

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Rasmei Kampuchea Daily
Translated from Khmer by Khmerization

The Unesco office in Bangkok thinks that it is “too late” for Thailand to oppose the listing of the Preah Vihear temple. Meanwhile, in Cambodia, the government has asked the Cambodian people to remain calm and not to do anything that would harm Thai interests in Cambodia.

On the 3rd of July many Thai newspapers reported that, after some Thai senators wrote a letter to Unesco requesting the suspension of the Preah Vihear listing, Unesco replied in a letter stating that it is “too late” for Thailand to oppose it.

The Bangkok Post daily has quoted Mr. Sheldon Staeffer (spelling?), chairman of Unesco in Thailand, as saying in the letter that the formal agreement and the joint communiqué to list the Preah Vihear temple had already been signed by Thai Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama and Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An in Paris on the 22nd of June 2008. All the agreements and the joint communiqué had already been forwarded to the World Heritage Committee for consideration and final approval.

Mrs Vimon Phornpitwatchai (spelling?), advisor to the Thai Journalist Association, said that Thailand and Cambodia had signed many agreements and joint communiqué already, especially the communiqué signed on the 18th of June. She said that the Unesco reply clearly confirmed that “your objection is too late”. As for the decision of the Thai Administrative Court ordering the Thai government to suspend its support for the listing, it is an internal matter of Thailand. She said that Foreign Minister Noppadon must take full responsibility and must resign.

Spokesman for the Thai Foreign Ministry said that the agreement signed by Mr Noppadon on the 22nd of June was not a formal agreement because it was only an agreement on the meaning of the texts. The same spokesman said: “All ministers agreed that what Mr. Noppdan signed was only an agreement on the draft of the texts before the cabinet approved it, so what power does he have to formalise the agreement? In my opinion, if the agreement was signed before the approval of the cabinet, that agreement is invalid.”

Reactions In Cambodia To The Thai Opposition To The Listing Of Preah Vihear

Mr. Son Chhay, MP from the Sam Rainsy Party, on 3rd of July has asked the Cambodian government to react on the international stage on what he called Thailand’s interference in the sovereignty of Cambodia and Thailand’s violations of Cambodian borders in the vicinity of the Preah Vihear temple complex. He has called on the Cambodian government to stop any border negotiations with Thailand. He said that there must be international participation in any border negotiations in order to ensure that the territorial integrity of Cambodia is respected. He had asked that any negotiations should be facilitated by the UN or by the co-chairmen (France and Indonesia) of the Paris Peace agreements.

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2 Responses to >UNESCO: “Too Late” For Thailand To Oppose The Listing Of Preah Vihear

  1. Anonymous says:

    >You said “the agreement signed by Mr Noppadon on the 22nd of June was not a formal agreement.” This is strange – because the “formal” agreement was signed already on 18 June 2008, also by Senior Minister Sok An, including the map signed by Mr. Var Kim Hong, expressedly saying that Cambodia makes at present no claim on the “Area 3” to the west of Preah Vihear temple. There is, by now, a controversy also about the UNESCO rep. in Bangkok, because he too gave wrong dates about the signing of documents to the press. – I am surprised that I cannot find any widely circulating publications in Cambodia with the text of the 18 June 2008 Joint Communique signed in Paris – it was publicly available in Thailand, and I referenced it (including the map presented by the Cambodian, not the Thai side), here:http://cambodiamirror.wordpress.com/week-566-2008-06-29-preah-vihear-still-in-the-headlines/Norbert Klein – nhklein@gmx.net

  2. khmerization says:

    >Nobert,Thanks for your comments. I will try to get to the Mirror site to get the references.

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