Declaration of Cambodian Foreign Ministry over Thailand’s Demand

The Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has issued a declaration in response to the demand of Thai prime minister to remove Cambodia’s flag from the Keo Sikha Kiri Svara pagoda of Cambodia.

The following is the full declaration dated today:

“On 27 January 2011, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of Thailand demanded that Cambodia must remove its flag from the KEO SIKHA KIRI SVARA pagoda of Cambodia. In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation wishes to reassert as fellows:

– On 13 February 1904, France and Siam signed a Convention to establish the Joint Commissions on the Delimitation of Frontiers between Indo-China and Siam. In the period between the year 1905 and 1908, the Franco-Siamese Commissions produced a total of 11 maps, including the one that demarcates Sector 6 which is the area of the Temple of Preah Vihear.

– In 1954, Thai troops invaded Cambodian territory and occupied the TEMPLE OF PREAH VIHEAR. On 6 October 1959, Cambodia submitted this case of aggression to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Based principally on the above mentioned map produced by the Franco-Siamese Commissions, the ICJ adjudicated on 15 June 1962 as follows,

‘…the Temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia;’

‘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 on Cambodian territory;’

– Article I (c) of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand on the Survey and Demarcation of Land Boundary, signed on 14 June 2000, also recognizes the above mentioned map as a legal basis for the survey and demarcation of land boundary between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Kingdom of Thailand.

– According to the map produced by the Franco-Siamese Commissions, the KEO SIKHA KIRI SVARA pagoda, built by the people of Cambodia in 1998, is clearly situated in the Cambodian territory. Therefore, the flag of the Kingdom of Cambodia is legitimately flying over this Pagoda.

– Such a statement made by the Prime Minister of Thailand in parallel with Thailand’s military exercise at the border with Cambodia is clearly provocative and constitutes a casus belli for future acts of aggression against Cambodia. Cambodia reserves its legitimate rights to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation wishes to emphasize that this statement made by the Prime Minister of Thailand is unacceptable and that the Kingdom of Cambodia firmly rejects such an insulting demand.

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