Friday, February 04, 2011

Letter to Mr. Brian Padden Voice of America (VOA) Jakarta News Center

February 4, 2011

Mr. Brian Padden
Voice of America (VOA)
Jakarta News Center
Deutshee Bank Building, 10th Floor, Suite 10-01
JL. Imam Bonjol 80
Jakarta 10310 - Indonesia

Fax: (62-21) 3000-2276

Reference:     Your Article entitled “Domestic Politics Drive Thai-Cambodia Border Dispute

Dear Mr. Padden;

I am writing this letter is response to your article entitled “Domestic Politics Drive Thai-Cambodia Border Dispute” published on February 1, 2011; and has broadcasted in VOA Khmer service on February 2, 2011; in which is distressingly displeased with a paragraph, that “The Preah Vihear Hindu temple, situated on the border of Thailand and Cambodia has been a source of friction for years.  In 1962 the United Nations ruled the ancient complex is in Cambodia, but much of the surrounding land is Thai territory.”
To this end, I would like to draw your attention to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of the United Nations’ judgment rendered on June 15, 1962; based on Annex I Map submitted by Cambodia attached to its Application; that I quote:  Thailand in 1908-1909, did accept the Annex I map as representing the outcome of the work of delimitation, and hence recognized the line on that map as being the frontier line. The Court concluded further that the acceptance of the Annex I map by the Parties caused the map to enter the treaty settlement and to become an integral part of it; and thereby conferred on it a binding character”.
The Court decided among the 3 points that: 1) “finds that the Temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia”; and that 2) Thailand is under an obligation to withdraw all military, police or other guards or keepers, stationed by her at the Temple, or in its vicinity on Cambodian territory.”
It means according to the principle of international law that the vicinity of the Temple of Preah Vihear belongs to the territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia.  It does not mean as you said “but much of the surrounding land is Thai territory!”

Cambodia’s government has always used the internationally recognized map in every negotiation or document. Cambodia never uses a unilateral or non-internationally recognized map. Instead, Thailand did use its own unilateral and secret map, which lacks the international legitimacy to claim the so-called 4.6 km2 which goes against the 1904 Convention and 1907 Treaty which founded the basis for demarcating the frontier between Cambodia and Thailand.
Attached, please find a copy of 1/200000 scale map used by the ICJ and the enlarged sketch showing that the Temple and its vicinity areas are in Cambodian territory.
I therefore urge you to re-adjust your statement now and in any further publication or VOA broadcasting.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at my h/p +855. or at my e-mail address:
Thank you for your understanding, and your cooperation in this matter would be highly appreciated.    

Sam Sotha
Secretary of State
Office of the Council of Ministers,
Vice Chairman of the Communication and Quick Reaction Unit

cc:       Mr. Danforth Austin, Director
            VOA Washington
            Mr. Chris Decherd, Chief
            VOA Khmer Service Washington

            VOA Headquarters Washington
            330 Independence Avenue, SW
            Washington, DC 20237

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