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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        9  February 2011

UNESCO to send mission to Preah Vihear

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The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today reiterated her call for calm and restraint around the Temple of Preah Vihear, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008. A border dispute between Cambodia and Thailand caused several deaths and damage to the site in recent days.

"I intend to send a mission to the area as soon as possible to assess the state of the temple," she said. "World Heritage sites are the heritage of all humanity and the international community has a special responsibility to safeguard them. This requires a collective effort that must be undertaken in a spirit of consultation and dialogue. Heritage should unite people and serve as an instrument of dialogue and mutual understanding and not of conflict."

The Temple of Preah Vihear, dedicated to Shiva, is composed of a series of sanctuaries linked by a system of pavements and staircases over an 800-metre-long axis; it dates back to the first half of the 11th century AD. The site is exceptional for the quality of its carved stone ornamentation and its architecture, adapted to the natural environment and the religious function of the temple.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

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