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30 janv. 2011

[Article] Historian advocates joint control of border heritage sites.

January 23, 2011 | The Nation by Supalak Ganjanakhundee

Countries in the Mekong River basin and the Dangrek Mountain range should consider creating a trans-boundary world heritage site of cultural and natural resources to end their border conflicts, prominent historian Charnvit Kasetsiri proposed over the weekend.
Speaking at a seminar "Our Boundaries, Our Asean Neighbours" on Friday, Charnvit said countries in the region had a lot of cultural and natural heritage left by ancestors centuries ago, some of which were sources of conflict.
Thailand and Cambodia have been at loggerheads over the Hindu temple of Preah Vihear for half a century. The proposal by Cambodia to list the ruined temple as a World Heritage site in 2008 fuelled conflict between the neighbouring countries.
A group of Thai nationalists want the government to block Cambodia's attempt to run Preah Vihear and kick a Khmer community out of the area adjacent to the temple.
A ruling by the International Court of Justice in 1962 found that Preah Vihear was situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia.
Bangkok said it respected the court's ruling but argued that the temple's vicinity and even the land where the temple sits belongs to Thailand.
Preah Vihear temple was listed as a World Heritage site in 2008 but the Thai government, with strong support from nationalist groups, opposed its management plan. The two countries remain in conflict and seem to have no way to settle their differences.
Charnvit proposed what he is calling a "Mixed Cultural and Natural Mekong-Dangrek World Heritage" as a model to end the conflict.
There were some examples in the world, he said, where trans-border World Heritage sites had been possible, citing the Iguazu waterfalls - the world's largest - which are situated on the border of Argentina and Brazil.

[...Read the full article here...]

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