Thailand: ICJ has 'nothing to consider'
- Published: 17/04/2013 at 09:52 PM
- Online news:
Thailand asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Wednesday to ignore the dispute with Cambodia over the land around the Preach Vihear temple or else rule there is nothing to interpret in the case.
Surapong Tovichakchaikul, Thai Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister attending the trial on the temple dispute, rejected the claim there is a dispute between Thailand and Cambodia on the rights over what is the "vicinity" of the Preah Vihear temple.
At a briefing at The Hague after Thailand wound up its first session of oral statement to the panel, he summarised the Thai position in six points.
1. Cambodia's interpretation of the 1962 ruling on Preah Vihear distorted the court's procedure, and attempted to make the current case into a kind of an appeal, where the court should rule, even though it specifically refused to rule on "vicinity" in its ruling of more than 50 years ago.
2. Cambodians demand that the court consider the 4.6-sq km of disputed land did not arise in the original case, but Cambodia is bringing it up now only because it wants to register the area as a World Heritage site.
3. The 4.6-sq km now brought up at the court is not the "vicinity” addressed in the 1962 ruling, but much larger. The "vicinity" in the old ruling was only 0.35 sq km.
4. The Thai cabinet’s resolution of 1962, which Thailand always has upheld, dealt with the old “vicinity”. Cambodia never opposed that Thai government resolution, and never protested that Thailand kept troops in the area. Clearly, both sides have a mutual understanding, and there is no need for a new interpretation.
5. Thailand has exhibited to the court problems with the documents presented by Cambodia. Cambodia has several maps cited as “the map in Annex 1”. The map presented in the old case is different from the Annex 1 presented in this case. Cartographic lines on Cambodia's map do not match actual land. Cambodia even has changed the map that the Thai side presented to the court in the old case.
6. Thailand has scrupulously followed the temporary measures ordered by the court on July 18, 2011. There has been no armed clashes along the border since then, and no deaths. Cambodia and Thailand have discussed and agreed on operational procedure. Moreover, the relationship between the two countries is going well, as there are other channels to solve problems. Regarding the border issue which Cambodia has tried to seek the interpretation, there still exists negotiation mechanisms under the Memorandum of Understanding on the Thai-Cambodia border signed in 2000.