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Govt 'fully prepared' as world court opens Preah Vihear case

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will stay in Chiang Mai to closely monitor testimonies being presented before the International Court of Justice in Europe over the Thai-Cambodian border dispute. She has also urged Thais to follow the court session with calm.



Yingluck said Sunday she would monitor the testimony from 3 pm today when the Cambodian representatives will deliver their oral argument before the ICJ. The Thai side is due to deliver its argument to the court on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters in Chiang Mai's Doi Saket district, Yingluck said the government was fully prepared to defend the Thai territory near the Preah Vihear Temple.

The Cambodian government has asked the ICJ to interpret whether the world court's earlier ruling that gave the temple to Phnom Penh also covered the 4.5-square-kilometre plot of land around it. The Thai side insisted the 4.5-km plot belonged to Thailand and was not covered by the earlier ruling.

A well-informed source said Yingluck would remain at her hotel in Chiang Mai to monitor the court session, although war rooms have been set up at Government House and the Foreign Ministry in Bangkok to monitor the testimonies. The prime minister is visiting Chiang Mai for the long Songkran holidays.

Yingluck said the government had a team to monitor the testimony being presented in The Hague as well as the observers in Thailand.

She said the government had provided moral support to the Thai team of lawyers and foreign advisers fighting the court case.

Yingluck said the Thai team and advisers had been preparing information based on the Thai laws for a long time, so the government had asked them to do their best during the court fight.

The prime minister said the Foreign Ministry had prepared interpreters to translate the testimony into Thai during a live broadcast via the Foreign Ministry's web site.


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