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Hindu temple enjoys World Heritage status

The Cambodian Govt has organised a mass rally to celebrate the recent listing of the country's 11th century Hindu temple as a world cultural landmark.

world Updated: Jul 14, 2008 15:25 IST

The Cambodian government has organised another mass rally on Monday to celebrate the recent listing of the country's 11th century Hindu temple as a world cultural landmark.

Some 10,000 people were expected to gather on Monday to celebrate Preah Vihear temple's new status as a UNESCO World Heritage site, said Mann Chhoeun, deputy governor of Phnom Penh Municipality that organized the event.

The ceremony will be presided over by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An when he returns from Canada, where he lobbied a UNESCO committee meeting to designate the temple a cultural treasure, Chhoeun said.

"We have succeeded in this goal not by just sitting idly. We struggled hard to get it," Chhoeun said.

Preah Vihear was declared a World Heritage site a week ago despite objection from Thai anti-government groups.

The two countries have a long-standing dispute over the land that surrounds the temple, and Thai activists have recently revived nationalist sentiment over the issue.

In 1962, the International Court of Justice awarded the temple and the land it occupies to Cambodia, a decision that still rankles many Thais even though the temple is culturally Cambodian, sharing the Hindu-influenced style of the more famous Angkor complex in northwestern Cambodia.

Chhoeun said the temple's new status is "the second success" for Cambodia following the 1962 ruling.

Last week, Thailand's Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama resigned after the Constitutional Court ruled that he had overstepped his authority in supporting Cambodia's application to have the temple designated as a World Heritage Site.