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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        30  April 2011

Thai PM says government ready for ICJ

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Cambodia's request to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for legal clarification to settle the border dispute around the Preah Vihear temple is not unexpected, according to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Mr. Abhisit added yesterday that he had prepared for Cambodia's petition to the ICJ and the government is ready. A legal consultant has been hired to prepare its points in terms of legal aspects and facts.

Cambodia has asked the ICJ to interpret the court's 1962 ruling, which awarded the ancient Hindu temple ruins to Cambodia

A statement issued by Cambodia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation yesterday said Phnom Penh felt it was necessary to have the interpretation "in order to peacefully and definitely settle the boundary problem between the two countries".

Mr. Abhisit did not comment on some critics' remarks that Cambodia had picked a fight with Thailand as part of an orchestrated plan to find grounds for lodging the ICJ request.

Mr. Abhisit said efforts to end the clashes would continue. However, Thailand would retaliate if Cambodia opened fire first.

Information Department director-general Thani Thongpakdi yesterday criticised Cambodia for overlooking Asean by filing its petition with the ICJ.

Mr Thani said Cambodia had no intention to solve the problem bilaterally and overlooked Asean, which had offered help to solve the conflict.

Mr Thani said earlier Cambodia had informed Thailand it would bring the conflict to the ICJ if Joint Boundary Commission talks came to a halt.

The ICJ may consider Cambodia’s petition in three weeks but it may take as long as two years to adjudicate the matter.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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