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Thais defer ceremony at border once again

Written By vibykhmer on Thursday, August 27, 2009 | 12:27 AM


The Phnom Penh Post
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
Thet Sambath

A joint ceremony designed to promote good relations between Thai and Cambodian troops stationed on the border at Preah Vihear has been postponed for a second time.

The festival was intended to ease tensions at the site of the 11th century temple, where soldiers on both sides had described near-constant tension since UNESCO accepted Cambodia's application to enlist Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage site in July 2008.

Speaking to the Post on Tuesday, Brigade 8 Commander Yim Phim said a declaration of peace by Royal Cambodia Armed Forces Commander Pol Sareoun and General Songkitti Jaggabatra of the Royal Thai Armed Forces on Monday had smoothed relations.

"Now, the situation is better because our soldiers on the front line have stopped carrying weapons," he said. "Before, it was very tense: Our soldiers were carrying guns all the time, and they were on alert to defend against any attack".

Thailand delayed the ceremony because of domestic commitments, said So Dorn, an officer with Battalion 404.

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