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Cambodian PM calls for end to row over event name at SEA Games


Phnom Penh, March 3 (IANS) Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen has called for an end to a brawl with Thailand over the name of a kickboxing event at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Cambodia in May.

Speaking at an annual cultural gathering here, Hun Sen said on Thursday as the hosts of the games, Cambodia had named the kickboxing event as Kun Khmer, but Thailand wanted it to be named Muay Thai.

Cambodian officials insist that the sport originated from their Khmer culture, while Thailand claims that it belongs to them, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Prime Minister added the two neighbours should not have bad blood over the kickboxing event name, saying that Kun Khmer belongs to Cambodia, while Muay Thai belongs to Thailand.

“There should be a reconciliation. If the SEA Games is held in Cambodia, the kickboxing event name must be called Kun Khmer, and if it is held in Thailand, the event name must be called Muay Thai,” Hun Sen said.

He suggested that in the future, both countries should propose the UNESCO to list this kickboxing sport as a “joint” intangible cultural property.

Cambodia will host the 32nd SEA Games from May 5 to 17 for the first time in 64 years. The Morodok Techo National Stadium on the capital’s northern suburb will be the main venue for competitions and the opening and closing ceremonies.

The Cambodia SEA Games Organising Committee said the biennial multi-sport event will see athletes competing in 37 sports with more than 600 disciplines.



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