Cambodia fires back at Thailand

Cambodia On Thursday argued hard against Thailand's evidence regarding Phnom Penh's acceptance of the barbed-wire fence ordered to be put up by the Thai cabinet around Preah Vihear after the 1962 International Court of Justice ruling, and described the claim that Cambodia falsified maps as groundless.

Cambodian counsel Rodman Bundy

Rodman Bundy, one of the Cambodian lawyers, told the ICJ hearing in The Hague that Cambodia did not falsify the map as alleged by the Thai legal team. It only tried to delete a line that appeared in the Annex I map, known as the 1:200,000-scale map.

"We have not falsified the map as claimed by Thailand. But in fact, Thailand has attempted to limit our vicinity by setting up their own border line without our approval," he said.

Mr Bundy said although the court disseminated the Annex map 85D in the original judgement, it did not mention what this map used to refer to, and there was no need for the court to reconsider it despite the issue being raised by Thailand.

Alina Miron, a Romanian lawyer who is a member of the Thai legal team, told the court on Wednesday that Annex map 85D was one part of the big map the court reproduced to describe the temple's vicinity and the areas in which Thailand would have to withdraw its military.

Mr Bundy said it was pointless trying to merge the map with the current map presented to the court because Cambodia had not asked the court to look for the border line in the original case.

Mr Bundy said the barbed-wire fence erected by Thailand in 1962 around Preah Vihear Temple was not a border line as claimed by Thailand. It was done without any credible guideline, including the principle of a watershed line.

Moreover, the visit to Preah Vihear by the late Prince Norodom Sihanouk after the 1962 ruling was different from the visit of Thailand's Prince Damrong Rajanubhab to the temple before the ruling.

Prince Sihanouk protested over the issue several times in 1967,1968 and 1969 and he did not walk across the fence because he did not want to create a problem with Thailand.

He insisted the ICJ had already accepted the temple vicinity being included into Annex I. The temple's vicinity covered areas under the Annex I map and reached to the east and the west of a crosspoint agreed by the two countries. 

Related search: cambodia, thailand, preah vihear, icj, map

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Writer: Thanida Tansubhapol
Position: Reporter