Cambodian Authorities Vow not to Build over Ancient Preah Vihear Finds

Cambodian Authorities Vow not to Build over Ancient Preah Vihear Finds
Written by Administrator, Dap-News --
Wednesday, 12 August 2009 02:52

Cambodian authorities overseeing the protection of the Khmer Preah Vihear temple said on Tuesday that ancient structures uncovered by recent investigations would not be built upon during the reconstruction of a Cambodian market.

Cambodian officials expressed optimism over a research project to find uncover the original appearance of the temple and two nearby now dried up rivers (known in Khmer as Kou Toeuk). The research was a prerequisite for the reconstruction of a local Cambodian market to be finished at the end of this month.

“Cambodian Preah Vihear auth-ority finished a research last month to pave the way for building a market destroyed by Thai soldiers’ fire,” Hang Soth, Preah Vihear temple authority director-general, told DAP News Cambodia on Tuesday.

The first research and investigation showed that many ancient materials aged over 900 years and some significant finds were made. Cambo- dian authorities promised they would not develop any areas over ancient structures.

“This preliminary research was just made to pave the way to build infrastructure around that area, while some projects were canceled because sacred and archeological materials were present under the surface,” Hang Soth said. “At the moment, a working group is building temporarily wooden stairs at one corner of the temple to help locals’ and tourists’ access. Afterwards, we will build stairs made of stone.”

According to the soldiers at the border, the working group is de-mining areas around temple area.

Preah Vihear Province deputy-Governor Sor Thavy told DAP News Cambodia that preliminary research and investigations had suggested an interesting history to the Khmer Preah Vihear Temple, especially during the earliest Sam Bokkhmoum area.

“The working group delayed its process instead of building the market as asked by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen,” he confirmed.

Recently appointed Preah Vihear Provincial Governor Mum Mara said that the 200 meter area of the Sam Bokkhmoum temple suggested that Cambodia had controlled the area all around for many centuries.

“The first research found three Baray [man-made reservoirs] in three separated places near the T-shaped area of the temple,” Sor Thavy said. “We asked that the working group controlled by a Chinese company not to build over this area.”

Deputy Prime Minister Sok An on June 19 said that Cambodia’s Preah Vihear Temple must have had Baray and rivers (Kou Toek) surrounding it.

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