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Thailand to consider building a replica of an ancient temple in dispute with Cambodia

Security forces from Thailand and Cambodia have a history of battling over the Preah Vihear temple, located just across the Thai border from the Si Sa Ket province. The sacred temple is now inaccessible from Thailand leaving local officials battling for a solution.

Preah VihearAfter failing to regain this mountain top temple from Cambodia the Thai military have now come up with a new innovative solution – to construct a mock version of the temple for visitors to Thailand to enjoy without having to cross the border into Cambodia.

Kalyanee Thamjaree of the governor’s office in Si Sa Ket province believes building a cloned version will attract many tourists who wish to see the temple, he hopes the construction can take place very quickly so that people around Phrea Vihear Temple can soon be selling souvenirs to tourists.

There have been bad feelings towards Cambodia since the International Court of Justice ruled that the ancient Khmer temple belonged to Cambodia in 1962 and several attempts have been made to forcibly reclaim it. In 2011 soldiers on both sides lost their lives to gunfire during a dispute over the temple and those on the Thai side claim that the dispute ended a once thriving trade.

Four years on Si Sa Ket province officials say that the military have now approved their idea to build a replica of the ancient and scared temple.

The original temple is around nine centuries old, recreating a new version will encourage tourist to want to learn about the history and culture of Thailand and Cambodia Kalyanee said. Si Sa Ket is keen to increase tourism in the area, something a replica version of the temple would help achieve.

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