Thai politics

NYT on ICJ Preah Vihear ruling

The New York Times says:

The top judicial body of the United Nations on Monday sought to defuse tensions at a Southeast Asian flash point, ordering Cambodia and Thailand to withdraw troops from a disputed temple and establishing a demilitarized zone along their mountainous border.

The piece also contains a couple of graphs of helpful background info:

The dispute over the temple has its roots in the period when French colonizers controlled what is modern-day Cambodia. In the early 1900s, French surveyors traced the border line along the watershed of the Dangrek mountain range, but deviated from the watershed at Preah Vihear, placing the temple inside Cambodia. It was an awkward demarcation because of the temple’s location on a bluff more easily accessed from Thailand.

But Thailand’s government made no protest at the time and used the French maps as their own, according to a judgment by the International Court of Justice in 1962. That judgment established that the temple should be inside Cambodian territory. But the ruling did not address the sovereignty of the land surrounding the temple, which is the subject of the ongoing dispute.

Again, here’s my post on the subject from yesterday.

Thai politics

ICJ: Thailand, Cambodia troops should withdraw from Preah Vihear

2011 07 18 preah vihear

There’s news today from the U.N.’s International Court of Justice on the Preah Vihear temple. The BBC says:

The UN’s highest court has ordered Thailand and Cambodia to withdraw troops from a disputed border region near an ancient temple complex.


The court said both sides must allow access to observers from the regional bloc Asean.

The AP reports:

The court drew a “provisional demilitarized zone” around the 1,000-year-old Preah Vihear temple that would push Thai troops back from positions they have long occupied and would see Cambodian armed forces leave the temple’s immediate vicinity.

Meanwhile, here is an ICJ press release (PDF) on the ruling.

How will the news affect Thailand’s domestic politics? (Or politics within Cambodia, for that matter?) That’s still unclear.

Before the ruling, the Bangkok Post reported that:

There will not be any immediate troop withdrawal from the disputed area around Preah Vihear temple, regardless of the decision due today from the International Court of Justice, Army Region 2 spokesman Prawit Hukaew said on Monday.

(Emphasis mine.)

For more on the issue, see the Preah Vihear tag.

(Image: Wikipedia.)

Thai politics

Thailand quits U.N. World Heritage Convention over Preah Vihear

The AP reported yesterday that:

Thailand’s prime minister on Sunday defended his country’s decision to quit the U.N.’s World Heritage Convention, saying its committee’s consideration of a Cambodian plan to manage a protected temple on Thailand’s border would increase tensions.

The UNESCO Web site has this statement yesterday from the Director General, who says:

Contrary to widely circulated media reports, the World Heritage Committee did not discuss the Management Plan of the Temple of Preah Vihear nor did it request for any reports to be submitted on its state of conservation. Moreover, it needs to be clarified that UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre never pushed for a discussion of the Management Plan by the Committee.


The World Heritage Committee decision was adopted unanimously after Thailand staged a walkout. The request of Thailand to adjourn the debate was not supported by any other member of the World Heritage Committee.

Meanwhile, the official MCOT news agency says:

Thailand’s withdrawal from the World Heritage Convention and World Heritage Committee (WHC) is in accordance with his Cabinet’s resolution, because ambiguity in the Cambodian draft resolution is unacceptable, said Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Sunday.

Before going to the northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani for the Democrat Party’s election campaign, Mr Abhisit said that he spoke many times on Saturday regarding this issue with the head of Thai delegates to the WHC meeting in Paris, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Suwit Khunkitti, and Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya.

The draft resolution proposed by Cambodia has ambiguous words which are unacceptable, therefore Thailand decided to pull out of the WHC, he said.

Thai politics Thailand

Al Jazeera: “Thai-Cambodia clashes continue despite truce”

Al Jazeera English today:

Thai-Cambodia clashes continue despite truce

A brief cease-fire between Thailand and Cambodia has broken down, shattering hopes for a quick end to the border conflict as the two sides exchanged fire for an eighth day and the death toll rose to 16.


New clashes on Thailand-Cambodia border

2011 04 22 thailand cambodia map

A Bloomberg story:

Thai and Cambodian troops clashed in a disputed border area today, killing at least four soldiers in the first major fighting since the United Nations Security Council urged a permanent cease-fire two months ago.

One Thai soldier died and six were wounded in the fighting, which occurred several hundred kilometers west of clashes in February near a United Nations World Heritage site, Veerachon Sukondhadhpatipak, the Thai army’s deputy spokesman, said by phone. Three Cambodian troops were killed in the fighting, Xinhua reported, citing Cambodian military commander Neak Vong.

And here’s an explainer piece from Reuters, as well as a BBC story.

Map via the BBC.

For more, see posts here with the Preah Vihear tag.

Thai politics Thailand

Thailand, Cambodia, and Preah Vihear: more links

Preah vihear

A few more items to pass along:

(Image: BBC News.)

Thai politics Thailand

More on Thailand, Cambodia, and Preah Vihear clashes

Preah vihear

AP: Thai, Cambodian clashes resume at disputed border

Economist blog post with background info and political implications: Shells fly around the temple

BBC: Cambodia nationalism fired by temple row with Thailand

MCOT: Fresh fighting on Thai-Cambodian border; 15,000 evacuated

(Image: Reuters/BBC.)

Thai politics Thailand

NY Times and Reuters on Preah Vihear

Yesterday’s NYT: “Cambodia Asks U.N. to Act Amid Clashes With Thailand.”

Also see this Reuters Q&A from Feb. 4: “Preah Vihear temple and Thai-Cambodian tensions.”

Thai politics Thailand

Clash on Thailand-Cambodia border

Bangkok Post:

Fighting on Cambodian border

Two or three Thai soldiers were wounded in an exchange of fire with Cambodian troops on Friday afternoon on the Thai-Cambodian border, and artillery rounds landed on Thai soil well inside the frontier, an informed military source said.

The clash started about 3.20pm near the disputed 4.6 square kilometre area around the Preah Vihear temple.

Fighting was continuing, the source said. Heavy weapon rounds had landed on the Thai side of the border,

Lt-Gen Tawatchai Samutsakhon, 2nd Army commander, said it was Cambodian troops who started the fire.

Many artillery shells landed at Huay Thip village in tambon Rung of Si Sa Ket’s Kanthararak district, north of the Preah Vihear temple and about 1km from Phu Makhua mountain, which is part of the disputed area.

Two or three Thai soldiers were reported wounded. Casualties on the Cambodian side were not known.

Previous posts with more info:

Fighting on Thai-Cambodia border (April 2009)
Conflict on Thailand-Cambodia Border (Oct. 2008)


Fighting on Thai-Cambodia border

AFP: “Heavy gunfire at Thai-Cambodia border: commander

PHNOM PENH (AFP) — Heavy gunfire broke out Friday on the disputed Thai-Cambodian border, a Cambodian commander told AFP, following a brief exchange of shots earlier in the day.

“We are in a gun fight with the Thai soldiers now. There is heavy gunfire along the border,” commander Bun Thean told AFP.

He said shots had been fired between troops in at least three spots near the ancient Preah Vihear temple on the border, which has never been fully demarcated.

Cambodian soldier Yeim Kheang, stationed at the border, confirmed to AFP by telephone that both sides were firing shots, saying the exchange began at 2:00 pm (0700 GMT).

There was no immediate response from Thailand.

You can find more info on this issue in a post from October here.