Northeast army command ordered to clarify temple dispute trial to local residents


BANGKOK, April 2 – Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha has ordered the regional commander for Thailand’s Northeast to explain to area residents on the Cambodian border about the upcoming hearing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the Phra Viharn (Preah Vihear) temple dispute.

He said Monday that the 2nd Army Region commander was told to reassure northeastern residents that the final decision on territorial conflicts near the  temple on the Thai-Cambodian border depends on the ICJ action later this year.

He was referring to an instigation rumoured among people in the Northeast that Thailand will possibly lose a plot of territory adjacent to the temple site following the world court’s ruling.

Thailand and Cambodia are required to give oral statements before the ICJ at The Hague on April 14-18.

“We will abide by the ICJ verdict late this year. We should not talk too much details before the oral statements,” Gen Prayuth said.

Cambodia has asked the ICJ to rule on a piece of 4.6 sq km (1.8 square mile) of land near the temple site to which both countries have claimed ownership.