PM Hun Sen complained to UN after Thai PM threatened to use force to settle Preah Vihear dispute

Monday, August 9, 2010

Click on text to read the letter.

By Khmerization

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has sought UN's help by writing a letter to the UN Security Council after Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva threatened to use force to settle the Preah Vihear dispute if diplomacy does not yield a satisfactory result for Thailand.

In an address to Thai protesters on 7th August, Mr. Abhisit was alleged to have said that Thailand is prepared to use force to take control over a plot of land surrounding the temple complex claimed by both Thailand and Cambodia. "About the land encroachment, we will cancel the MOU if the problem can't be settled. We will use both democratic and military means," Mr. Abhisit was quoted by The Nation newspaper as telling the protesters. The Cambodian Foreign Ministry swiftly issued a strong statement in response to Abhisit's threats.

In the letter, Mr. Hun Sen had drawn the attention of the UNSC to the fact that Preah Vihear temple issue had been settled once and for all by the Franco-Siamese Convention of 1904, the Franco-Siamese Treaty of 1907 and the verdict of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of 1962 and the 1908 maps which were accepted by the then Siamese king.

Mr. Hun Sen's letter had also drawn the UNSC's attention to the verdict of the ICJ which stated that "...the Temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory under the sovereignt of Cambodia;"
and that "Thailand is under an obligation to withdraw any military or police forces, or other guards or keepers, stationed by her at the Temple, or in its vicinity within Cambodian territory."

The letter accused Thailand of violating articles 2.3 and 2.4 of the UN Charter. The letter also stressed that Cambodia re-affirms its policy not to use force to settle any disputes, but said it reserves its "legitimate rights" to defend its "sovereignty and territorial integrity" in the face of aggression by Thailand.

Mr. Hun Sen had also requested the UNSC to widely circulate the letter to all members of the UNSC for information.


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