Thailand set to present case to International Court: PM


BANGKOK, May 30 — Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Monday affirmed that Thailand is ready to present its case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) following Cambodia’s request that the court interpret its 1962 ruling on Preah Vihear Temple, including its request for indication of provisional measures.

Mr Abhisit said the Thai legal team said they were ready, the team has made due preparation for the case, in terms of written documents, photographs, videos, and statements to clarify the issue.

He said Thailand’s main argument would focus on Cambodia had earlier accepted that demarcation of its boundary with Thailand had not been settled. Cambodia had signed a memorandum of understanding in 2000 to establish a joint boundary committee to resolve the boundary dispute.

“Thailand regards the MoU in 2000 as evidence that Cambodia accepted that the border demarcation was not yet completed,” he said.

He said the government assures the public that it will do its best to protect Thai national interests and must be present at the IJC. Otherwise the world might hear only a one-sided story, so Thailand must defend its national interest with information.

In 1962, the court ruled that Preah Vihear temple is situated in Cambodia. Thailand complied with the ruling but argued that the verdict covered only the sandstone ruins while the area around it belonged to Thailand. Cambodia recently asked the ICJ to interpret its 1962 judgment to establish if the land in the temple’s vicinity also belonged to it.

The International Court, based at The Hague in the Netherlands, begins a two-day hearing on Monday.

Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya left Thailand for the Hague on Saturday.

He earlier said the ministry has sent officials to research and find information from various sources, including the United Nations and the national archives of Thailand and other countries.

The Ministry has also been in frequent consultation with its international legal advisors on the case.  In conclusion, the foreign minister reaffirmed that Thailand had complied in full with the ICJ judgment on the temple case.

The result of hearing is expected within one to three weeks. (MCOT online news)