News / Asia

World Court Awards Some Territory to Cambodia in Temple Dispute

World Court Awards Some Land to Cambodia in Temple Disputei
X
November 11, 2013 6:02 PM
The International Court of Justice has ruled that part of a disputed patch of land around a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Thai-Cambodian border belongs to Cambodia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok that both countries say they will work together to implement the court decision.
The International Court of Justice has ruled that part of a disputed patch of land around a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Thai-Cambodian border belongs to Cambodia. Both countries say they will work together to implement the court decision.

The unanimous ruling by the 17 judges of the world court says all of the raised land on which the ancient Khmer Hindu temple sits belongs to Cambodia.
 
The court’s president, Judge Peter Tomka, read the decision Monday at the Hague, noting the ICJ’s previous ruling on the matter in 1962 awarding the 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple itself to Cambodia.
 
“…in consequence, the second operative paragraph requires Thailand to withdraw from that territory the Thai military or police forces or other guards or keepers who were stationed there,” said Tomka.
 
While adjusting some of the disputed boundary, the decision leaves unresolved the sovereignty of much of the 4.6 square kilometer area in the immediate vicinity of the religious site.
 
Sensitive timing
 
The ruling comes at a particularly sensitive time for the political leaders of both countries.  They have been facing street protests questioning their legitimacy and authority and there are worries in both capitals that the ruling about the temple could be taken up by the political opposition.
 
Location of Preah Vihear templeLocation of Preah Vihear temple
x
Location of Preah Vihear temple
Location of Preah Vihear temple
The ICJ decision rejects some territorial claims in the area made by each country thus it is not a total victory for either side.
 
But even before the verdict was issued, self proclaimed patriots on both sides of the disputed border had stated they were prepared to fight if the verdict did not go their way or if there are perceived provocations across the border.
 
Within hours of the verdict, Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra appeared in a nationally televised address, saying the court had taken her country’s stance into consideration and that Bangkok should work with Phnom Penh to resolve outstanding issues.
 
The prime minister said Thailand’s sovereignty will be protected, that the border area is calm and that the army has the situation under control.
 
At The Hague, Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong also expressed satisfaction with the verdict and called for continued negotiations between the two governments “in order the keep the problem under control.”
 
The unresolved territorial issue led to the armies of the two countries, in 2011, exchanging artillery fire, resulting in dozens of deaths.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: sav nuon from: Lowell, Massachusett -USA
November 11, 2013 4:23 PM
To my brother and sister in Cambodia, stand and get ready to protect our land at all time. Because this is what we have left from all the thife around us, that been stole our land. As specially SIAM that call themself THAI today. They'll plan to trick again and for the two Tough guy you both need to put your mind on the LAND first. To PM HUN SEN you need stop sale Cambodia LAND to Yun or Veitnam and to Mr. Ransy the oposition leader, the last time I lesent to your speach in Lowell, MA. Sir, you kept talking about YUN? What about Siem ?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs