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

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

1 Billion People Used Facebook on Single Day

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised the accomplishment in a posting on the social media site 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs