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Yellow Shirts to Challenge Thai Government About Temple


Thailand's so-called "yellow shirt" political movement says it will join a rally demanding the government take a tougher stand in a territorial dispute with neighboring Cambodia.

A leader of the People's Alliance for Democracy, Sondhi Limthongkul, said Friday the "yellow shirts" will join a network of civil groups in a protest expected Saturday outside the offices of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his cabinet.

Leaders of the movement that helped install the current government now say the administration has been too soft in dealing with Cambodia's territorial claims.

At issue is a 4.6-square-kilometer stretch of land next to the historic Preah Vihear temple on the Thai-Cambodian border.

Both sides have placed troops along the border since UNESCO declared the temple a World Heritage site under Cambodian control in 2008. Skirmishes are frequent.

Thai nationalists claim the 11th-century Hindu temple is a part of Thai heritage and are pressuring the government to reverse a 10-year-old memorandum of agreement on the area.

Cambodia, for its part, says the growing political pressure in Thailand may end any hopes for a bilateral solution to the problem.

At a meeting in Brazil last week, Thailand threatened to withdraw support from the U.N. agency if it backed a Cambodian plan for management of the temple.

UNESCO postponed its decision for one year to allow more time for a bilateral solution.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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