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Friday, December 08, 2023, 17:47
Cambodia PM: Nearly 10,000 families move out of Angkor park
By Xinhua
Friday, December 08, 2023, 17:47 By Xinhua

Cambodian Buddhist monks visit the Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia, Nov 15, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)

SIEM REAP, Cambodia - Some 9,900 families living in illegal structures at Cambodia's Angkor Archeological Park have so far volunteered to resettle at new designated locations, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet said on Friday.

The 2,456-hectare relocated sites are situated in the Run Ta Ek area in Banteay Srei district and the Pak Sneng area in Angkor Thom district outside the ancient park.

"I'd like to thank all of you for voluntarily agreeing to move out of the Angkor Archeological Park to resettle at the new locations in order to preserve our ancestors' world heritage site," Hun Manet said in a speech during a visit to thousands of relocated households.

Each relocated family has received a plot of land measuring 20 meters wide by 30 meters long, and an ID card for the poor, which allows the cardholder access to monthly cash assistance and free healthcare for 10 years

The prime minister noted the 401-square-kilometer Angkor park is home to 91 ancient temples built from the 9th to the 13th centuries.

READ MORE: Cultural Heritage Conservation mission in Angkor stands out as an example of intl cooperation

"It is a tourist magnet, attracting millions of international visitors to Cambodia, particularly to Siem Reap province," he said.

The Cambodian government has started to move squatters out of the Angkor park after the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) warned that the ancient park could be withdrawn from its World Heritage List because too many illegal buildings were constructed in the Angkor area, which is against the terms and conditions set by the UN agency for heritage listing.

This photo taken on Jan 16, 2023 shows a resident carrying her belongings to a truck at the Angkor Wat temple area in Siem Reap province, Cambodia. (PHOTO / AFP)

Each relocated family has received a plot of land measuring 20 meters wide by 30 meters long, and an ID card for the poor, which allows the cardholder access to monthly cash assistance and free healthcare for 10 years.

ALSO READ: PM: Cambodia eager to see return of more Chinese tourists

The exact number of families still living illegally in the Angkor area is unavailable.

Inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1992, Angkor is the most popular tourist destination in the Southeast Asian country.

The park received roughly 700,000 foreign visitors in the first 11 months of 2023, up 211 percent compared to the same period last year, the state-owned Angkor Enterprise said, adding that it made $32.5 million in revenue from ticket sales during the January-November period, up 261 percent year-on-year.

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