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Patrick C.

Agonias AB CDA, LJL3

06/03/12 PHIFOCY


Thailand and Cambodia are two neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia. Their relations are strained with a long history of common border conflict, wars and disputes. The most recent conflict burst into violence in October of 2008 and April of 2009 when their troops exchanged fire over ownership of an ancient temple and its surrounding land. This dispute has been going for over a hundred years. It involves the area surrounding the 11 th century Preah Vihear Temple which located between the northern district belonging to Cambodia and another district this time belonging to Thailand. When the French withdrew from Cambodia in 1953, Thailand took over the temple in 1954/ However, in 1962 the ICJ in the Hague, awarded the ownership of the temple to Cambodia, whom affirmed that the1907 map precisely showed the temple belonged to Cambodia and did not rule on the surrounding adjacent lands. In response, Thailand became irritated and reacted furiously at the claim. Later on, Thailand unwillingly handed over the temple with nearly no surrounding areas, claiming that the border has been officially differentiated there. Recently, Cambodia submitted an application to UNESCO requesting that the temple be appointed as a world heritage site. Nonetheless, Thailand argued that the land surrounding the temple belongs to them. This in concern of the cross-border relations, Cambodia withdrew the application. In 2008 after gaining support from Thailand, submitted and altered map requesting the designation only for the temple and not the surrounding land.

Chachavalpongpun, P. (2011). The Disputed Thai-Cambodia Border. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Ples, A. (2011). The Thailand/Cambodia border dispute. Singapore: MUNOFS IV.