Thai legal team presented disputed border case to International Court


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May 30, 2011



30th May, 2011 Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva stated that he has affirmed Thailand is ready to present its case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), following Cambodia’s request that the court interpret its 1962 ruling on Preah Vihear Temple, including its request for indication of provisional measures.

Owing to the boundary through the grounds encompassing the temple is still not demarcated, The historic Preah Vihear temple has been a point of controversy between Thailand and Cambodia.

 



The Judgment of 26 May 1961 concerning the Temple of Preah Vihear (Preliminary Objections) between Cambodia and Thailand, which related to the territorial sovereignty over the Temple of Preah Vihear, were instituted by an Application by the Government of Cambodia dated 30 September 1959.

According to the court judgment, Preah Vihear temple is situated in Cambodia and the Court noted that Cambodia is owner of Temple of Preah Vihear. Thailand argued that the area around Preah Vihear temple belonged to Thailand and the verdict covered only the sandstone ruins.. In sequence, Cambodia has newly requested the ICJ to interpret its 1962 judgment to establish if the land in the temple's vicinity belonged to Cambodia and also clarify the territorial boundary between Thailand and Cambodia.

A Thai legal team has been set up to counterclaim this disputed border case in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in response to Cambodia's petition. The team has made due preparation for the case, in terms of written documents, photographs, videos, and statements to clarify the issue. 

In addition, Cambodia had signed a memorandum of understanding in 2000 to establish a joint boundary committee to resolve the boundary dispute. This MOU detailed that Cambodia accepted the border demarcation was not yet completed. It may be the best evidence for Thailand.

Thai Prime Minister said the government assured the public that this MOU will protect Thai national interests and must be presented at the IJC. Thailand must defend its national interest with information, otherwise the world might hear only a one-sided story.

The International Court, based at The Hague in the Netherlands, begins a two-day hearing on Monday. Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kasit Piromya, left Thailand for the Hague. He has been in frequent consultation with its international legal advisors on the case. In conclusion, he reaffirmed that Thailand had complied in full with the ICJ judgment on the temple case.

The hearing result is anticipated to take a time around one to three weeks.



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