MONDAY, JULY 18, 2011
U.N.: Thai, Cambodian troops must leave disputed temple area – CNN.com
Outstanding Universal Value
The Temple of Preah Vihear, a unique architectural complex of a series of sanctuaries linked by a system of pavements and staircases on an 800 metre long axis, is an outstanding masterpiece of Khmer architecture, in terms of plan, decoration and relationship to the spectacular landscape environment.
Criterion (i): Preah Vihear is an outstanding masterpiece of Khmer architecture. It is very ‘pure’ both in plan and in the detail of its decoration.
Authenticity, in terms of the way the buildings and their materials express well the values of the property, has been established. The attributes of the property comprise the temple complex; the integrity of the property has to a degree been compromised by the absence of part of the promontory from the perimeter of the property. The protective measures for the Temple, in terms of legal protection are adequate; the progress made in defining the parameters of the Management Plan needs to be consolidated into an approved, full Management Plan.
Prasat Preah Vihear is the compound of words Prasat, Preah and Vihear. Prasat (ប្រាសាទ) mean “castle”, sometimes “temple”; in Sanskrit प्रासाद. Preah (ព្រះ) mean “sacred”. “Vihear” (វិហារ) mean “shrine” (the central structure of the temple). The word Vihear could be related to the Sanskrit word Vihara (विहार) which means “abode.”
Construction of the first temple on the site began in the early 9th century; both then and in the following centuries it was dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva in his manifestations as the mountain gods Sikharesvara and Bhadresvara. The earliest surviving parts of the temple, however, date from the Koh Ker period in the early 10th century, when the empire’s capital was at the city of that name. Today, elements of the Banteay Srei style of the late 10th century can be seen, but most of the temple was constructed during the reigns of the Khmer kings Suryavarman I (1002–1050) and Suryavarman II (1113–1150). An inscription found at the temple provides a detailed account of Suryavarman II studying sacred rituals, celebrating religious festivals and making gifts, including white parasols, golden bowls and elephants, to his spiritual advisor, the aged Brahmin Divakarapandita. The Brahmin himself took an interest in the temple, according to the inscription, donating to it a golden statue of a dancing Shiva known as “Nataraja”. In the wake of the decline of Hinduism in the region the site was converted to use by Buddhists.
U.N.: Thai, Cambodian troops must leave disputed temple area
(CNN) — The United Nation’s highest court ruled Monday that both Cambodia and Thailand must withdraw their troops from an area where a disputed border temple sits.
The International Court of Justice drew what it called a “provisional demilitarized zone” around the Preah Vihear temple and asked the two nations to allow neutral observers into the area to monitor the cease-fire.
Cambodia had asked the international court to intervene and order Thai troops out of the area.
The court, instead, said it ruled that both sides withdraw to avoid more casualties.
The 11th century temple sits atop a cliff on Cambodian soil but has its most accessible entrance on the Thai side. The two countries differ on whether some territory around the temple forms part of Thailand or Cambodia.
The International Court of Justice awarded the temple to Cambodia in 1962. Thailand claims, however, that the 1.8 square mile (4.6 sq. km) area around it was never fully demarcated.
Thailand says the dispute arose from the fact that the Cambodian government used a map drawn during the French occupation of Cambodia — a map that places the temple and surrounding area in Cambodian territory.
In 2008, the United Nations approved Cambodia’s application to have the temple listed as a World Heritage Site — a place the U.N. says has outstanding universal value.
The decision re-ignited tensions, with some in Thailand fearing it will make it difficult for their country to lay claim to disputed land around the temple.
Thousands have been displaced in the fighting and many have been killed.
Hindus hail Hague Court decision on famed Preah Vihear Shiva Temple
Nevada (US), July 19: Welcoming the International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision on demilitarizing Preah Vihear Hindu temple on Thailand-Cambodia border, the Hindus have urged international organizations to urgently undertake its restoration work.
ICJ, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations established in 1945, in its decision at Hague (Netherlands) on July 18, reportedly found out that both Parties (Cambodia and Thailand) must immediately withdraw their military personnel currently present in the provisional demilitarized zone defined by it, and refrain from any military presence within that zone and from any armed activity directed at that zone, to ensure that no irreparable damage was caused. There were skirmishes between both countries in the earlier part of the year reportedly causing damage to this Shiva temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Esteemed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) on Monday, said that demilitarization of the temple area would probably avoid the risk of further damage to the ancient Hindu shrine.
Zed, who is the president of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that international community, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) should immediately provide funding and manpower for restoring this Lord Shiva temple back to its original shape.
These organizations should not shy away to shoulder their responsibility of saving the important heritage of the world and respecting the feelings of Hindus worldwide, he added.
Besides temple repairs, some infrastructure in the area should also be provided for devotees and other visitors, he said.
Zed pointed out that this landmark age-old and revered Hindu temple complex in Preah Vihear province of Cambodia, about 245 kilometers north of Phnom Penh, was important to Hindu heritage and must be preserved to pass it on to the future generations. Damage and deterioration of 11th century Shiva temple was shocking and hurtful to the Hindu community world over.
Lord Shiva, one of the major deities in Hinduism forming great triad with Brahma and Vishnu, was focus of worship of the Hindus, and it was important for them that Preah Vihear Hindu Shiva temple be protected and restored. It was moral duty of the world to keep it intact for the coming generations, he added.
Known as Preah Vihear in Cambodia and Khao Phra Viharn in Thailand, this remote temple had been a source of tension for generations. Preah Vihear was said to even predate Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temple complex by about 100 years and its stunning setting made it finest of all the ruins left from the mighty Khmer civilization, Zed said.
He argued that world should not let this sacred site dedicated to Lord Shiva (situated where Preah Vihear province of northern Cambodia touched Sisaket province of eastern Thailand), whose history could be traced to 9th century when the hermitage was founded, be further damaged to advance political agendas of some.
Moreover, the Temple of Preah Vihear, an outstanding masterpiece of Khmer architecture mostly created by Suryavarman I and Suryavarman II, was a unique architectural complex of a series of sanctuaries and was said to be exceptional for the quality of its architecture and carved stone ornamentation. It was reportedly dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva in his manifestations as Sikharesvara and Bhadresvara.
It was also said to be marking representation of sacred Mount Meru, the abode of the gods, and showing a depiction of Churning of the Ocean, a Hindu scriptural episode, Zed said.
The Cambodian Government’s National Committee for the World Heritage describes Preah Vihear as: The site serves as a sacred place worshipping to the Hindu god Shiva manifesting as Sikharesvara (the Lord of Peak) and his figures are depicted on pediments and lintels.