April 19, 2013 00:00
By Supalak Ganjanakhundee
Cambodia on Thursday insisted that the land around the Preah Vihear temple, which an International Court of Justice judge has asked both sides to define, is along the boundary line shown in the Annex I map only.
The operative clause of the 1962 judgement suggested that the temple and its vicinity are situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia, Cambodian foreign minister Hor Namhong said.
“(To answer the judge), the vicinity is defined by the Annex I map,” he told reporters after a hearing session at the International Court of Justice.
The judgement indicated that both sides had already accepted the boundary line between the two countries, he said.
After Wednesday’s session. Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf asked Thailand and Cambodia to define and show the court either in maps or graphics, the “vicinity” of the Preah Vihear they have been debating over the past days.
The court requires a written reply from both sides by April 26 and the parties would respond to the definition by May 3.
In Thursday’s session, Cambodia’s counsel Rodman Bundy rebutted Thailand’s presentation on the map by Alina Miron, saying that it was misconceived.
The map sheet 85d as shown in the court by Miron on Wednesday does not exist in the 1962 judgement, he said. Bundy showed the court that the map annexed to the interpretation request this time was the same version as that used in the court 50 years ago.
Hor Namhong told reporters after the hearing that Thailand has produced a lot of maps to show the court but the court based its 1962 judgement on the Annex I map only.
Bundy said in court that the line drawn by Thai cabinet resolution in 1962 offered no rationale as to the vicinity of the temple. It also has no connection with the line in map 85d as shown by Thailand ’s counsel, he said.
Cambodia has never accepted the boundary line made by Thai cabinet resolution. Unlike Thailand’s Prince Damrong in 1930, late King Norodom Sihanouk did not recognise Thai sovereignty in the territory near Preah Vihear but protested against it, Bundy said.
He referred to the analogy made by Thailand’s counsels that the visit by former interior minister Prince Damrong to Preah Vihear was regarded as recognition of the French sovereignty over the temple.
Thai envoy Virachai Plasai said Cambodia ’s presentation in the court failed to discredit the other maps used in the court 50 years ago but Thailand believed the court would take the Thai observations into account.