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Thai committee: Temple is likely to get listed


July 7, 2008

Thai committee: Temple is likely to get listed
Attempts by Cambodia to list the Preah Vihear temple, built during the 11th century, as a World Heritage site during the current annual session of the World Heritage Committee held in Canada's Quebec City, are expected to bear fruit, according to Pongpol Adireksarn, chairman of Thailand's World Heritage Committee.

Pongpol, currently attending the session, said on a Thai radio broadcast that more than half of the 21 World Heritage Committee members had told him informally that they favoured the Cambodian government's registration of the ancient temple as a World Heritage site as it had "untiringly pursued the issue on a constant basis".

He quoted committee members as telling him that concerned Phnom Penh government had also invited them to visit the temple, unlike Thailand whose "policy was uncertain" and whose government changed frequently.

Thailand Hote
The temple issue is expected to be conferred by the World Heritage Committee on Sunday night Thailand time.

The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), a non-governmental organisation had distributed reports to the committee, saying that listing of the temple alone as a World Heritage site would pose no problem for the consideration, said Pongpol.

But ICOMOS recommended that both Cambodia and Thailand should jointly propose that surrounding area to the temple should also be included as the World Heritage site.

Thai Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama, attending the session as an observer, is expected to oppose and delay the listing of the temple following the Thai Administrative Court's temporary injunction against the June 17 cabinet approval of the joint communique he signed with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An.

Noppadon said in Quebec that he would prepare a letter and lobby the Committee to delay the listing of the temple.

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