Shri Tarun Vijay, created a history by becoming first MP and columnist from India to visit Preah Vihear Temple, under threat to be destroyed by heavy shelling by Thai army. He worshipped at this ancient Shiva temple built between 9th and 12th century. Thai and Cambodian armies have taken war like position on both sides of this temple, built on a hill, bordering both countries. Both countries claim the temple.
Shri Tarun Vijay said it was his dream to visit this world heritage site and do his bit to create public opinion for the safety and preservation of this thousand year old temple which is a pride for this world. He was greeted by the Governor of Preah Vihear H.E. Oum Mara and senior officials of APSARA Authority of Cambodia, the highest govt body to take care of Ang Kor Wat including its Director General, who briefed Shri Tarun Vijay about the real situation and also the decision of ICJ. Prof S. Sahai, a senior scholar and world renowned researcher who has done extensive work on Preah Vihear temple accompanied Shri. Tarun Vijay and gave him all the background material on the temple.
Shri Tarun Vijay took pictures of the Temple including the ones showing damage to the ancient world heritage site by Thai shelling. He lamented that such a world heritgae should become a controversial issue and said that this site needs world attention and a collective will of all the civil citizens of this planet to preserve and safeguard world’s most valuable heritage. He assured that this issue will be taken up with Thai authorities also and he will inform Indian parliament about his visit and his experiences in Cambodia. He said- maintain peace, preserve Preah Vihear, for regional stability and progress.
Shri Tarun Vijay was invited to Phnom Penh to attend the meeting of distinguished diplomats and guests which was addressed by the Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Sok An on the issue of preservation and safeguarding Preah Vihear world heritage. He met and discussed the matter with H.E. Sok An and assured all help to have the Temple area declared as a peace zone. Deputy Prime Minister invited him for a special breakfast meeting at his residence also.
Shri Tarun Vijay said there should be a global consensus to assure that Preah Vihear temple is guaranteed safe passage for the tourists and pilgrims and not a single bullet is fired on it, which is a crime against humanity. He said he will do his best to publicize the Temple in India and felt confident that thousand of Indian Hindus and Buddhists would like to visit the Temple.