A return to Thai ownership of the Preah Vihear Temple is not an option, new Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said
- From: Chim <ChimS1@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 25 Dec 2008 15:34:01 -0800 (PST)
Thailand, Cambodial to cooperate on Preah Vihear: Kasit
By Supalak Ganjanakhundee
Published on December 26, 2008
A return to Thai ownership of the Preah Vihear Temple is not an
option, new Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said yesterday. But
Thailand would maintain cooperation with Cambodia over the historic
and controversial Hindu temple, he said.
The Preah Vihear case would be handled in line with the 1904 and 1907
Siam-Franco treaties, the 1962 International Court of Justice (ICJ)
ruling and the 2000 Memorandum of Understanding on boundary
demarcation, he said.
The ICJ ruled in 1962 that the Preah Vihear belonged to Cambodia but
the surrounding land - and access to it - have remained in dispute.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajava said in June - while he was
opposition leader and in debate with former foreign minister Noppadon
Pattama - that the ICJ had decided only the ruined temple building
belonged to Cambodia. The piece of land on which the temple sat was
The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) demanded recently the
foreign ministry recall ownership of the 11th century Khmer sanctuary.
Its call was unlikely to succeed as the foreign ministry has been
examining boundary demarcation and provisional arrangements for the
The new minister Kasit, an active member of the PAD before taking the
office, said he would not change previous foreign ministry resolutions
with Phnom Penh.
Vasin Teeravechyan would retain his position as co-chair of the Thai-
Cambodia Joint Commission on Demarcation for Land Boundary, Kasit
"In general, it is our intention to cooperate with Cambodia and the
Unesco (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural
Organisation), he told reporters.
The minister said Thailand should have a representative in the
International Coordinating Committee (ICC) to protect and develop
Cambodia's Preah Vihear.
However, Thailand would have a problem in taking up this position
since the PAD opposed the idea, saying it meant recognition of
Cambodia's sovereignty over the temple.
"We have to weigh between presence and absence in the ICC," said the
ministry's Permanent Secretary Virasakdi Futrakul.
With a representative in the body, Thailand would have access to the
temple's administration, he said. But, by the same token, Thailand
could also be outvoted.
However, Thailand's national world heritage committee would make the
final decision on the ICC, Virasakdi said, noting the foreign ministry
would send a representative to the committee.
Kasit said his previously provocative stance in the PAD over the
Preah Vihear conflict would not jeopardise relations with Cambodia as
its leaders, notably Prime Minister Hun Sen, were familiar with him
since they worked together on the Paris Accord on Peace in Cambodia in
Hun Sen was the first to send congratulations to Prime Minister
Abhisit, he said.
- Prev by Date: Crude oil falls 9% to $35.35 a barrel, its lowest close in more than four years
- Next by Date: There are ways to solve garbage collection in Phnom Penh, but for now, the city needs to live with the problem
- Previous by thread: Crude oil falls 9% to $35.35 a barrel, its lowest close in more than four years
- Next by thread: There are ways to solve garbage collection in Phnom Penh, but for now, the city needs to live with the problem