Cambodia To Continue to Fly Its Flag at Keo Sikha Kiri Svara Pagoda

Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has, in a statement, reiterated that the Keo Sikha Kiri Svara pagoda is legally well situated in Cambodian territory, thus the country will continue to fly its flag there.

The following is the full statement dated today:

“STATEMENT OF THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION OF CAMBODIA REGARDING THE STATEMENT OF THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THAILAND ON 31 JANUARY 2011 CONCERNING THE KEO SIKHA KIRI SVARA PAGODA OF CAMBODIA

1-The Franco-Siamese Convention of 1904 and the Treaty of 1907 established Joint Commission on the Delimitation of Frontiers between Indo-China and Siam. The Franco-Siamese Commission produced a set of 1/200,000 maps, including “Dangrek” map that included the Temple of Preah Vihear, which the International Court of Justice referred to as Map ‘Annex I’.

The MoU of 2000 [Article 1 (c)] refers to the Convention of 1904 and the Treaty of 1907 as well as the maps of the demarcation works of the Commission on the Delimitation of Boundary between Indo-China and Siam, set up under the said Convention and Treaty.

2-The judgment grounds of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 1962, which was based principally on the Map ‘Annex I’, had clearly mentioned as follows:

‘The Court however considers that 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 effect of which is to situate Preah Vihear in Cambodian territory’…

‘Both Parties, by their conduct, recognize the line and thereby in effect agreed to regard it as being the frontier line’…

‘There is, however, no reason to think that the Parties attached any special importance to the line of the watershed …The Court, therefore, feels bound, as a matter of treaty interpretation, to pronounce in favour of the line as mapped in the disputed area’ …etc…

Therefore, the KEO SIKHA KIRI SVARA pagoda is legally well situated in Cambodian territory; and by no means will Cambodia relocate this pagoda elsewhere and Cambodia will continue to fly its flag there.

3-It is well acknowledged in Thailand that the KEO SIKHA KIRI SVARA pagoda was built by the people of Cambodia in 1998 with the flag of the Kingdom of Cambodia flying over this pagoda since then. The question is why only now that Thailand demanded for the removal of Cambodia’s flag. Until now, Cambodia has never received any official demand from Thailand.

4-Cambodia’s only since desire is to find a peaceful solution with Thailand on the demarcation of the border according to legal documents, including the Agreed Minutes of the Joint Border Commission (JBC). Cambodia reserves its rights to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, while Prime Minister Abhisit has threatened to wage war against Cambodia.

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