A Change of Guard

សូមស្តាប់វិទ្យុសង្គ្រោះជាតិ Please read more Khmer news and listen to CNRP Radio at National Rescue Party. សូមស្តាប់វីទ្យុខ្មែរប៉ុស្តិ៍/Khmer Post Radio.
Follow Khmerization on Facebook/តាមដានខ្មែរូបនីយកម្មតាម Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/khmerization.khmerican

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Thai-Cambodia border quiet as temple battle in international court

L-R: Sir Franklin Berman, Var Kimhong, Minister of State and Hor Namhong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation of the Kingdom of Cambodia, sit in on the case in The Hague. Cambodia launched a bitter legal battle before the UN's highest court, asking it to order an immediate Thai troop withdrawal around an ancient temple that saw clashes this year.
(AFP/ANP/Valerie Kuypers)

Monsters and critics
May 31, 2011,

Bangkok (DPA)- The Thai-Cambodia border region around a disputed 11th-century Hindu temple was quiet Tuesday as the two countries prepared for day two in court at The Hague to settle the contentious border issue, officials said.

Thai soldiers remain in the border region guarding Thai territory, Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Thanatip Hwangsaeng said Tuesday, adding that the area was peaceful and relations with the Cambodian military were good.

In April, Cambodia asked the International Court of Justice in The Hague to revisit its 1962 ruling that awarded Preah Vihear temple to Phnom Penh.

The court case started Monday with Thailand saying again that it honours that 1962 ruling, and that the temple itself is in Cambodia.

What is at issue is a 4.6-square-kilometre area near the complex that Thailand maintains was not included in the court's 1962 ruling.

That dispute goes back decades but Bangkok said it resurfaced after UNESCO in 2008 designated Preah Vihear a world heritage site, over Thai objections.

The temple has proved a flashpoint and sparked several clashes between the countries, most recently eight days of artillery and small arms skirmishes in April that killed 16 people, mainly soldiers, on both sides, and wounded around 60.

Both Thailand and Cambodia blamed each other for starting the fighting.

At The Hague on Monday Cambodia accused Thailand of 'deadly intrusions' into Cambodia and requested Thai troops to withdraw.

Thailand argued the border dispute did not fall under the court's jurisdiction because Thailand had complied with the 1962 ruling. It also says the 4.6-square-kilometre area is Thai territory and not part of the 1962 ruling.

Oral arguments were scheduled to continue Tuesday in The Hague.


Anonymous said...

Thailand will not lose any territory that Thai never own

The Preah Vihear temple is a geopolitical nightmare. It clearly belongs to Cambodia but Thailand refuses to accept it. On June 15, 1962, in which the ICJ ruled 9-3 that the Preah Vihear temple was situated within Cambodia, adding that the structure was “an outstanding masterpiece of Khmer architecture.” By a vote of 7-5, the court also declared that Thailand must return any antiquities removed from the temple. However, in the spirit of neighborly relations, In 1963(His majesty the King)Prince Sihanouk announced that Thailand was free to keep antiquities stripped from the temple. Despite these rulings, Thailand refuses to accept the court’s decision. Instead, Thailand was keen to back up it claim by force over dialogue and negotiation.

Thailand claims that the 4.6-sq-km (1.8-sq mile) area around Preah Vihear was never fully demarcated, blaming inaccuracies of a map drawn by the French at the beginning of the 20th century – the same one used in the ICJ’s ruling in 1962. As a result, periodic skirmishes have ensued along the border, often provoked by the Thai side. Casualties have resulted.

French officers in 1907 claimed that Preah Vihear was under Cambodia’s sovereignty, as evidenced by a topographic map showing the border’s location. That line indicated that the temple was on the Cambodian side, despite previous and explicit attempts by Siamese (Thai) governments to place intentionally the temple on the Thai side.

Abhisit cannot use war to reclaim his power. In the spirit of peaceful reconciliation, a commitment must be made to address tensions along the border. Thailand must resort to peaceful means. Bilateral talks between Cambodia and Thailand have been attempted without success. For example, after a recent clash, military leaders negotiated a ceasefire. That negotiation failed when Thailand opened fire on Cambodian armed forces the following day.

Anonymous said...

where do Cambodia go from here? request to ICJ for clarification and the process still going on.

Thailand must recognize that it cannot design its own map for the disputed 4.6-sq-km. This requires an open, transparent process that involves multiple parties including Cambodia.

Thailand must also respect international law even in war. Thailand has been using cluster munitions and poison gas in recent attacks along the disputed border area This too is unacceptable, given the long-term impact of cluster munitions.

On July 7, 2008, UNESCO listed Preah Vihear as a Cambodian World Heritage site. This means that it has outstanding universal value. It also means that the international community accepts Cambodia’s sovereignty over the temple. Our universal responsibility is to respect the integrity of this ancient ruin, not damage its architectural beauty. the ICJ must step in to rectify this rather tense situation.

The Thai people should therefore rest assured that, based on
international law, Thailand will not lose any territory that Thai never own.


Anonymous said...

Thailand got nothing to lose...But only given Cambodian a huge headaches..

Anonymous said...

ICJ had ordered Thailand to withrawal their troops out of the Preah Vihear Temple...in the PAST!