Published : April 30, 2011
Thailand is willing to fight its case in the World Court to resolve the border dispute after Cambodia appealed to the court’s 1962 ruling about the ancient Preah Vihear temple, according to Thai Minister of Foreign Affair
Cambodia’s appeal in the World Court was made after the Cambodian government issued a statement that had requested “interpretation of the Court’s judgment… concerning the temple of Preah Vihear” was prompted by “Thailand’s repeated armed aggression to exert its claims to Cambodian territory.”
“We especially want clarification about the vicinity around the temple. Thailand is using unilateral maps to claim our territory,” a Cambodian government spokesman told Agence France Presse news agency.
Thai foreign ministry spokesman Thani Thongpakdi denied the accusation made by Cambodian government, stating that it was simply Cambodia’s opinion.
The International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that Preah Vihear temple belonged to Cambodia, although its primary entrance lies in Thailand.
Mr. Thongpakdi believed the Cambodian troops intrusion beginning last Friday was to pave the way for Cambodia to bring the issue to the International Court of Justice.
“The Thai foreign ministry is well prepared. Legal advisors have been hired to handle the case, but we continue to believe that the border dispute should be solved at the bilateral level,” the Thai spokesman said.
“What Cambodia is doing means it overlooks the importance of regional cooperation and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN),” Mr. Thongpakdi added.
Mr. Thongpakdi believed that the court will forward the document to Thailand soon.
“However it may take year or two, or more, for the court’s consideration. We still must see whether the court will accept the case or not,” he said
The historic Preah Vihear temple has been a point of contention between two neighboring countries as the boundary through the surrounding grounds is not demarcated. This is the border where occasional military clashes claimed numerous lives.
The latest skirmish erupted last Friday near Ta Kwai temple in Surin’s Phanom Dong Rak district and the fighting spread to nearby Si Sa Ket province, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of local residents for their safety.
The Thai army reported Cambodian troops first fired on Thai soldiers and that Thailand was obliged to retaliate to protect the country’s sovereignty
Report By: Mcot
Photo By: Mthai