via CAAI News Media
Published: 10/02/2010 at 04:58 PM
Online news: Local News
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Wednesday he sees no reasons why Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen would seek the International Court of Justice's help to settle the border conflict with Thailand.
Mr Abhisit's statement came a day after Hun Sen said he would file a complaint to the International Court at the Hague to settle the disputed border near the Preah Vihear ancient temple.
"Cambodia has reached the limits of its patience," Hun Sen was quoted as saying during a visit to the disputed border.
"Cambodia wants to solve this territorial dispute by filing a complaint to the international court at The Hague," he said, adding that he would also ask the United Nations to help solve the border issue.
Mr Abhisit said he believes this issue could not be settled at the International Court because it has already ruled on the Preah Vihear temple and settled the boundary in a map, which Thailand did not accept.
The International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that the temple belonged to cambodia.
Mr Abhisit also vowed that the government would try its best not to loose the area of 4.6 square kilometres around the temple and would do all it can to protect Thailand's territory.
The Foreign Ministry and related agencies have been assigned to work on legal matters in preparation for Hun Sen's attempt to push the case to the court.
Government spokesman Pinithan Wattanayakorn said it takes a consent from both sides to file a case with the International Court.
The matter could be settled bilaterally, he said, adding that it is part of the Cambodian government's plan to push the matter to the International Court.
Meanwhile, internet giant Google has promised Cambodia it will review a map of an ancient temple at the centre of the country's border dispute with Thailand, Google said in a letter.
Cambodian authorities accused Google of being "professionally irresponsible" in a letter sent last week, because its Google Earth map depicts nearly half of the 11th century Preah Vihear temple as being in Thailand.
The Southeast Asian neighbours' troops have been in a standoff in the disputed territory since 2008, with occasional gunfights claiming several lives.
"We are carefully reviewing the Government of Cambodia's objections regarding the depiction of Cambodian borders in Google Earth, and we plan to respond to your letter more fully in the very near future," said Google.
The letter, dated Tuesday, was signed by Google's head of government affairs in Asia Pacific, Ross LaJeunesse, and sent to Cambodian cabinet officials.
It added that its map data was provided by Tele Atlas, an international mapping company.
The World Court ruled in 1962 that the temple belonged to Cambodia, although the main entrance lies in Thailand. The exact boundary through the surrounding grounds remains in dispute.
Cambodia and Thailand have been at loggerheads over their border for decades, however tensions spilled over into violence in July 2008, when the Preah Vihear temple was granted Unesco World Heritage status.
Cambodia made its complaint to Google as its premier Hun Sen visited areas near the disputed border, making fiery speeches that accused Thailand of invading his country.
Four soldiers were killed in clashes near the temple in 2008 and three more in a gunbattle last April. Smaller flare-ups continue to be reported between troops in the area, with the most recent exchange of fire on January 29.
The border has never been fully demarcated, partly because it is littered with landmines left over from decades of war in Cambodia.
Relations between the neighbouring countries deteriorated further in November after Hun Sen appointed ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who lives abroad to escape a jail term for corruption, as an economic adviser.