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Cablegate: Preah Vihear Temple: Thai Government Reviews New

VZCZCXRO8365
PP RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHBK #1818 1650708
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 130708Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3365
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY
RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI PRIORITY 5349

UNCLAS BANGKOK 001818

SIPDIS

PARIS PLEASE PASS TO USMISSION UNESCO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNESCO PREL SCUL PBTS TH CB
SUBJECT: PREAH VIHEAR TEMPLE: THAI GOVERNMENT REVIEWS NEW
CAMBODIAN MAP

REF: STATE 01486

1. (SBU) MFA Deputy Director General Pisanu Suvanajata told
Poloff on June 11 that, after completion of an ongoing survey
by the military and the Royal Thai Survey Department, the RTG
would formulate a position on the Royal Government of
Cambodia (RGC) map recently presented to the RTG in Paris.
As of June 13, representatives from both groups were at the
temple site, checking the accuracy of the map and verifying
that the temple perimeters are accurate and drawn to scale.
Pisanu said that the revised map was an improvement over the
previous map, and that it demonstrated the RGC's positive
attitude towards the negotiation process.

2. (SBU) Once the survey is complete, the military
technicians will present the results to the MFA and to the
National Security Council. Pisanu believed that the RTG
would accept the map's temple perimeters, and he confirmed
that the inscription would be limited to the temple
structure. He added that the map did not have any indication
of country borders, just an outline of terrain, and that, as
drawn, the temple perimeters seemed consistent with RTG
demands not to include on the map any disputed land
surrounding the temple.

3. (SBU) Pisanu dismissed a public statement by Democrat
Party Deputy Leader Alongkorn Pollabutr rejecting joint
Thailand-Cambodia management of the temple and urging
opposition to the RGC's pursuit of World Heritage status for
the temple. The MFA issued a press release on June 10
clarifying that the RTG's support of the RGC's effort to
obtain World Heritage status for the temple will not result
in loss of territorial jurisdiction for Thailand because just
the temple will be registered. The RTG was only concerned
that the registration would include disputed areas.

COMMENT
-------

4. (SBU) MFA officials give every sign of confidence that
the new map will be approved and that Thailand will be able
to support the temple's designation as a World Heritage site.
The issue remains somewhat sensitive, however,: "anonymous
sources" told the press this week that the army believed
disputed land still lay within the new map's temple
perimeter, and there are also reports of small local protests
by Thai villagers near the temple complex against Cambodians
living on the temple outskirts. Border issues are often
emotional; the government may have to face down some domestic
opposition to its current plan to support the site's
inscription.
ENTWISTLE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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