A Change of Guard

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Monday, 16 June 2008

Cambodians mark anniversary of court awarding border temple

Cambodian dancers perform a traditional dancing to celebrate the 46th anniversary of the International Court of Justice (ICJ)'s 1962 ruling that Preah Vihear temple belongs to Cambodia rather than Thailand, which organized by Khmer Civilization Foundation in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Sunday, June 15, 2008.

(AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Phnom Penh - More than 400 Cambodians gathered near the sacred site of Wat Phnom in the capital Sunday to celebrate the anniversary of the International Court in The Hague awarding a disputed border temple to Cambodia over Thailand. It was the first time the 1962 decision to award Preah Vihear temple to Cambodia has been marked and comes after bitter renewed wrangling between the two nations as Cambodia attempts to have the temple recognized as a World Heritage site.

Cambodia has rejected requests by Thailand to jointly manage the site and Thailand in turn has disputed border territory around the temple.

The head of the organizing committee for the rally, Moeung Son, made a speech praising the International Court's decision.

"Thanks to the International Court for its verdict which gave Preah Vihear temple back to the Khmer people," he said.

No dignitaries attended the rally, but it had received the support of King Norodom Sihamoni in a letter last week.

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