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Cambodia celebrates 6th anniversary of Preah Vihear Temple on World Heritage List

English.news.cn   2014-07-07 14:02:04

PHNOM PENH, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia marked the sixth anniversary of the inscription of the 11th century Preah Vihear Temple on the UNESCO's World Heritage List on Monday.

The event was held at the complex of Preah Vihear Temple in Preah Vihear province with the participation of about 2,000 people including government officials, UNESCO officials, cultural experts, local authorities and residents.

Chuch Phoeun, culture ministry secretary of State and chairman of the Preah Vihear Temple National Authority, said the celebration was to promote awareness of the temple's status among the public and to show national pride that the temple gained a world heritage status.

"The temple is the emblem of Cambodia's pride," he said.

You Sovan, deputy chief of the Preah Vihear provincial tourism department, said the temple attracted 63,600 domestic and foreign tourists in the first six months of this year, up 53 percent from 41,600 visitors over the same period last year.

"The temple will be the country's 2nd largest tourist destination in the future after the Angkor Wat world heritage site, " he said.

Preah Vihear, a Hindu temple, is located on the top of a 525- meter cliff in the Dangrek Mountains, about 500 km northwest of Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.

It had been a flashpoint of sporadic armed clashes between Cambodian and Thai troops between July 2008 and May 2011.

The Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) awarded Cambodia the temple and its vicinity on June 15, 1962, but Thailand claimed the ownership of 4.6 square km of scrub next to the temple in 2008, triggering deadly armed conflict.

In November last year, ICJ ruled that Cambodia had sovereignty over the whole territory of the promontory of Preah Vihear Temple, and ordered Thailand to withdraw its armed forces from that territory.

So far, the two countries have not met and discussed the implementation of the ICJ's ruling due to Thailand's internal conflicts.

Editor: An
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