Since it began in 2008, the dispute over the temple of Preah Vihear and its adjacent area has envenomed Thai-Cambodian relations. Puangthong R. Pawakapan argues that initially Thai-Cambodian cooperation on the temple had begun within the framework of Thailand's strategy to become a regional economic centre and leader. It was the first time in Southeast Asia that two formerly antagonistic states were employing cultural methods to settle a territorial dispute and turned it into a symbol of friendship and cooperation between the two countries. But the ultra-nationalist movement derailed this essay in cooperation. Instead, the temple became a symbol of hatred between the two countries. The ultra-nationalists' success has to be attributed to the support it enjoyed from various civic groups and institutions.