The United Nations International Court of Justice ICJ today ruled that Cambodia has sovereignty over the whole territory of the Preah Vihear temple, and that Thailand is obligated to withdraw its military personnel from the area. The temple and its vicinity have long been a bone of contention between the neighbours and have in recent years led to deadly clashes between them. In a June judgment, the ICJ found that the temple is situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia, and that Thailand is under an obligation to withdraw any military or police forces, or other guards or keepers, stationed at the Temple or in its vicinity on Cambodian territory. In its decision today , the Court declared unanimously that the Judgement decided that Cambodia had sovereignty over the whole territory of the promontory of Preah Vihear, and that Thailand is obligated to withdraw its forces from that territory. In this respect, the Court recalled that Cambodia and Thailand — which are both parties to the World Heritage Convention — must cooperate in the protection of the site as a world heritage.
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EPA Photo. The United Nations' highest court did not specify precisely how the area in the ruling maps onto that which is claimed by Cambodia, saying only that it should correspond with the natural promontory, and that the border line did not have to follow the watershed, as Thailand has argued.
The ICJ also reiterated the provision that obliged Thailand to withdraw all security troops from the temple's vicinity. However, the court rejected Cambodia's claim that it was also awarded a nearby hill by the ICJ ruling that was being interpreted in Monday's judgment.
The decision was welcomed in Cambodia, which claims the 4. Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said in The Hague that both sides are satisfied with the court's decision. After this, the two counties will hold talks in a panel planned to jointly develop the area, Mr Surapong said. Virachai Plasai, Thai ambassador to the Hague and leader of the legal team, said Cambodia had only won a small piece of the 4. Puangthong Pawakapan, a political scientist at Chulalongkorn University, told Modern Nine television channel that the ruling put an end to disputes over the area, involving protests by many groups.
The 11th-century Preah Vihear temple complex is situated on a steep-sided promontory that juts south into the Cambodian plain, making access - including tourism - difficult without access from the northern, Thai side. The judgment was expected to spark further opposition in Bangkok, where hundreds of protesters petitioned the Defence Ministry earlier Monday to reject the ICJ's authority over the dispute.
In Phnom Penh, about 20 military police were deployed outside the Thai Embassy ahead of the ruling, but there was no sign of protests in the city, and only 10 officers were on guard by the afternoon.
In , the ICJ ruled that the temple complex itself was on Cambodian soil, but did not rule on the border line around it, leaving the door open for further disputes. Cambodia reopened the case in after Preah Vihear temple was listed as a Unesco World Heritage site in , reigniting the dispute over the surrounding land, and sparking clashes between Thai and Cambodian troops.
Monday's ICJ ruling comes at a vulnerable time for government. The blanket amnesty bill that could pave the way for former premier Thaksin Shinawatra to return to Thailand is currently being debated by the Senate and has prompted mass anti-government protests in Bangkok since Nov 1.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said in a statement over the weekend that Thailand and Cambodia have to work together to maintain good relations, regardless of the outcome of the ICJ ruling. LAS VEGAS: Las Vegas casinos opened their doors on Thursday, 11 weeks after they were closed due to coronavirus, with downtown roulette wheels and slot machines whirring to life minutes after midnight.
The Federation of Thai Industries FTI plans to help farmers survive the likely recession caused by the pandemic by relying on modern agricultural projects launched as part of a billion-baht economic relief package. SUVA: Fiji announced it was Covid free Friday after the Pacific island nation's last known infected patient was given the all-clear, continuing the Pacific's remarkable record of success against the virus.
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Preah Vihear Temple
EPA Photo. The United Nations' highest court did not specify precisely how the area in the ruling maps onto that which is claimed by Cambodia, saying only that it should correspond with the natural promontory, and that the border line did not have to follow the watershed, as Thailand has argued. The ICJ also reiterated the provision that obliged Thailand to withdraw all security troops from the temple's vicinity. However, the court rejected Cambodia's claim that it was also awarded a nearby hill by the ICJ ruling that was being interpreted in Monday's judgment. The decision was welcomed in Cambodia, which claims the 4. Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said in The Hague that both sides are satisfied with the court's decision. After this, the two counties will hold talks in a panel planned to jointly develop the area, Mr Surapong said.
UN court rules for Cambodia in Preah Vihear temple dispute with Thailand
Affording a view for many kilometers across a plain, Prasat Preah Vihear has the most spectacular setting of all the temples built during the six-century-long Khmer Empire. As a key edifice of the empire's spiritual life, it was supported and modified by successive kings and so bears elements of several architectural styles. Preah Vihear is unusual among Khmer temples in being constructed along a long north—south axis, rather than having the conventional rectangular plan with orientation toward the east. The temple gives its name to Cambodia's Preah Vihear province, in which it is now located, as well as the Khao Phra Wihan National Park which borders it in Thailand's Sisaket province, though it is no longer accessible from Thailand. In the ICJ ruled that only the temple building belonged to Cambodia, while the direct way to access the temple was from Thailand  , but currently, as of at least , the only access is from inside Cambodia.
Cambodia complained that Thailand had occupied a piece of its territory surrounding the ruins of the Temple of Preah Vihear, a place of pilgrimage and worship for Cambodians, and asked the Court to declare that territorial sovereignty over the Temple belonged to it and that Thailand was under an obligation to withdraw the armed detachment stationed there since In its Judgment on the merits, rendered on 15 June , the Court noted that a Franco-Siamese Treaty of provided that, in the area under consideration, the frontier was to follow the watershed line, and that a map based on the work of a Mixed Delimitation Commission showed the Temple on the Cambodian side of the boundary. Thailand asserted various arguments aimed at showing that the map had no binding character. One of its contentions was that the map had never been accepted by Thailand or, alternatively, that if Thailand had accepted it, it had done so only because of a mistaken belief that the frontier indicated corresponded to the watershed line. The Court found that Thailand had indeed accepted the map and concluded that the Temple was situated on Cambodian territory. It also held that Thailand was under an obligation to withdraw any military or police force stationed there and to restore to Cambodia any objects removed from the ruins since Statements by the President.