Thai PM resents court injunction on Hindu heritage temple

July 6th, 2008 - 1:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangkok, July 6 (Xinhua) Thailand’s Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej said Sunday the administrative court’s order prohibiting his government from supporting the listing of ancient Preah Vihear temple as a world heritage site had undermined his government’s position. The temple built in 1037 by King Suriyavaraman of what is now known as Cambodia along Thai-Cambodia border is one of the most brilliant examples of Hindu architecture and precedes by 100 years another Hindu landmark structure, the Angkor Wat.

Sundaravej said future governments would not be able to cut deals with foreign governments because their agreements could be annulled by courts, and this would prompt foreign governments to lack confidence in Thai governments.

Since 2007, Cambodia has been trying to have the Preah Vihear temple, located on a mountain top on the Thai-Cambodia border, listed as a World Heritage Site.

Thailand and Cambodia have historically laid claim to the site, which sits on the Cambodian soil but can only be easily accessed from Thailand.

Cambodia’s former King Norodom Sihanouk took Thailand to the World Court in 1962 over the two countries’ claim to Preah Vihear. The court ruled that the temple belonged to Cambodia.

Thailand’s Administrative Court issued an injunction June 28 nullifying the Thai cabinet’s resolution to endorse Cambodia’s bid to list the Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage Site.

The controversy over the temple has become a hot issue in Thailand and a focus of the opposition Democrat Party and the PAD in their campaign to bring down the Samak government.

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