Soldiers Force Thais to Halt Construction Near Temple Site

Thai construction on a concrete building in the disputed border area near Preah Vihear temple, an apparent violation of the mem­or­an­dum of understanding signed by the Thai and Cam­bodian prime ministers in Phnom Penh in June, has been halted while the Thai-Cambodian Joint Border Com­mission continues to hammer out an agreement on the demarcation of the border.

Chea Morn, commander of Military Region 4, said Tuesday that four RCAF soldiers intervened to stop the construction after the builders could not produce a letter of permission from the Joint Border Commission.

“They just said they had an agree­ment between the Cambo­dian and Thai Tourism Minis­tries, signed by the Minis­try of Tourism Director-General So Mara,” he said.

So Mara was fired from his post as director-general of the Ministry of Tourism last month for signing an agreement giving Thailand partial control of the Preah Vihear temples. An official at the Thai em­bassy said the Thais were only building a place for tourists to rest after returning from the temples.



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