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
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.
TEXT SIZE - +
— 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, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid