The Preah Vihear temple is located on a mountaintop and affords some breath-taking views over the vast jungles of Cambodia. It is a pretty inaccessible place but not off the radar for those die-hard travellers who want to witness some of the best ancient Khmer architecture outside of that at Angkor Wat. The Hindu temple has endured much since the 11th Century and seems set to endure a little more.
The temple despite its significance is not yet a UNESCO world heritage site. Thailand seemed to have finally agreed to let Cambodia lodge an application to have the temple listed as a world heritage site. Nevertheless, this sparked the ire of the Thai people. Some 100 of them tried to march on Cambodia as a protest of the agreement. Not to be left out, a Thai then issued an injunction which purports to prevent the Thai government from supporting the Cambodian bid to have the temple listed as a world heritage site.
I must be missing something here. Simply, the listing of the temple complex as a world heritage site is likely to attract much-needed tourism and a boost to the local economies around the temple. The additional visitors would also likely help offset some of the costs of maintaining the ruins.
It beats me why would Thailand want to block the listing? Unless they still harbour dreams of one-day getting the ICJ to go back and hand down a decision that says, oops the temple is not in the territory of Cambodia but in fact it belongs to Thailand. The operative word here would seem to be 'dream'.
Thailand needs to pull its head out of the sand and get on board with the Cambodian application. It serves the interests of both countries and delaying the listing of Preah Vihear as a world heritage site serves the interests of none!