PAD demands govt reject ICJ's role in temple dispute

national January 09, 2013 00:00

By The Nation

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The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) yesterday submitted a seven point demand that the government reject the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice in the border dispute with Cambodia.

PAD spokesman Parnthep Pourpongpan submitted the demand to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra via the public service centre of the PM’s Office Permanent Secretariat.

Parnthep said the government must clearly express its stand that it would not accept the ICJ’s jurisdiction in the dispute between Thailand and Cambodia over a 4.6-square kilometre plot around the Preah Vihear temple.

Cambodia has asked the ICJ to interpret the 1962 ruling as to whether the ancient temple is located on Cambodian soil or not. Thailand and Cambodia are scheduled to provide oral arguments to the ICJ in The Hague from April 15 to 19.

Parnthep said the government should reject the ICJ’s jurisdiction before April 15.

The seven points of demand are:

1.   The government must announce that Thailand regards the ICJ has no authority to make the interpretation and Thailand will not accept the ruling. The government must point out that Thailand has not accepted the international court’s jurisdiction since 1962.

2.   The government must not observe the injunction of the ICJ that requires it to pull out troops and border patrol policemen from the disputed area. Instead, the government must rush to push Cambodians from the area around the temple.

3.   The government must speed up restoring ties with members of the UN Security Council as a guarantee that no country would violate Thailand’s sovereignty.

4.   The government must cite Article 2 of the UN charter to announce that no UN members can interfere in the matter of Thailand’s sovereignty. The government must also cite Article 2 of the Asean charter that Asean members must respect sovereignty of other countries and must not interfere in their internal affairs.

5.   The Thai government must not return to being a party to the UNESCO World Heritage.

6.   The government must stop using services of some academics working with the Foreign Ministry and who have been launching propaganda in favour of Cambodia. The government must allow the public members, who want to defend the country’s sovereignty, to use the state media to air their opinions as well.

7.   The government must rush to free Veera Somkwamkid and Ratree Pipattanapaibul, who have been jailed in Cambodia for spying and trespassing in the country.

Parnthep said the ICJ was not fair to Thailand and it was a political court, not a court of justice.

He said the PAD’s demands were based on suggestions of Sompong Sujaritkul, the last Thai lawyer who defended the Preah Vihear case in 1962 and is still alive.

Parnthep said if the government ignored the seven-point demand, it would be considered as collaborating with Cambodia to give away Thai sovereignty over the disputed area.

He added that PAD would not join a planned rally of the Thai Patriots, another yellow-shirt group, on January 21. The Thai Patriots plan the rally to pressure the courts and the military to act against the government for failing to defend Thai sovereignty over the land around the Preah Vihear.

Meanwhile, Banharn Silapa-archa, chief adviser to the Chart Thai Pattana Party leader, said the PAD should not hold more protests as they would cause the country to regress.

Banharn said the country would have to accept the ICJ’s ruling or else it would not be able to stay in the international community.

Maj General Prawit Hukaew, spokesman of the Second Army Area, denied that Cambodia was building up troops on the opposite side from Surin’s Kabchoeng district.

He said Cambodian troops were having a war exercise on the Cambodian side and the two armies still had good ties.

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