A Change of Guard

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Saturday, 30 April 2011

Cambodia rejects arrangement for deployment of observers on disputed Cambodian-Thai border

April 30, 2011

Cambodia has rejected arrangement for the deployment of Indonesian observers to the disputed border area near Preah Vihear temple because Thailand has proposed a location in Cambodian territory for observers on its side, Cambodian foreign minister Hor Namhong (pictured) said Saturday.

The rejection was in response to the 5th modified terms of reference (TOR) submitted by Indonesian foreign minister Marty Natalegawa, current rotating ASEAN chair, on April 28, for Indonesian observers to be deployed in the disputed border areas in order to monitor ceasefire.

"Cambodia cannot accept the fifth revised TOR because Thailand has proposed four locations for the observers on its side, but one of the locations is in Cambodian territory at Svay Chhrum area, though Thailand uses a different name," Hor Namhong said at Phnom Penh International Airport upon his return from submitting a request to the International Court of Justice for the interpretation of the Court's judgment of 1962 on the case concerning the Preah Vihear temple.

He said that the Svay Chhrum area in Preah Vihear province is in Cambodian territory as far as 7 kilometers from the border line.

"I will reply to Marty that Cambodia cannot accept the fifth TOR," he said.

Cambodia has proposed three locations -- Ta Sem, Chak Chreng and Pram Makara -- near Preah Vihear temple for the deployment of observers on its side.

The International Court of Justice awarded Preah Vihear temple to Cambodia in 1962.

The 11th century temple was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on July 7, 2008. But the dispute over the 4.6 square kilometers scrub next to the temple has sparked periodic border conflict between Cambodia and Thailand. The latest in a series of deadly clashes has killed over a dozen soldiers on both sides since April 22.

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