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KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA

Religion Nation King


***

OPEN LETTER
To Mr. Kasit Pyromya
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand
c/o E-mail: div0704@mfa.go.th

And To Whom It May Concern:

Dear Madams/Sirs:

I have read Thai ministry’s publication of Mr. Kasit Piromya


interview with the media of the outcome of the UNSC meeting on 14
February in New York and I referred to the press conference yesterday, 17
February 2011, by Samdech Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

May I comment point by point the following:

1) Mr. Kasit Piromya said “...Cambodia’s submission of a letter addressed


to the Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations, in her capacity
as the President of the UNSC for the month of February.”

Mr. Kasit has twisted the wordings.. Mr. Kasit should instead say
“Cambodia’s submission of a letter addressed to the President of the UN Security
Council, H.E. Mrs. Maria Ribeiro Viotti, ” and that “...she is Ambassador of
Permanent Mission of Brazil to the UN.

It should be noted that the Presidency of the UN Security Council is held


in turn by the Members of the Council comprising 15 Member States in the
English alphabetical order of their names. Each President holds office for one
calendar month.

2) Mr. Kasit said “all UNSC member countries shared the view that
bilateral mechanisms between Thailand and Cambodia remain necessary.

However, through her statement to the media thereafter the Council


meeting, Madame President said “the UN Security Council urged Cambodia and
Thailand to display maximum restraint and to establish a permanent cease-fire.”
She further stated that “the Council expressed support for ASEAN’s active efforts
regarding the situation between Cambodia and Thailand, encouraged the parties
to continue to cooperate with the organization in this regard. And that the issue is
expected to be discussed at the meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers on 22
February {next week}.”

With this respect, Mr. Kasit has again twisted the facts, and lied about the
outcome of the meeting for his own purpose, (Thailand’s consistent policy of
deception) to mislead Thai and international opinion. He said that “the outcome
of this meeting showed that Cambodia’s objective of getting the UN involved was
not achieved,” and added that “on the contrary, the UN has requested that
Cambodia return to bilateral negotiations with Thailand.”

In fact, the Security Council encouraged both parties to utilize third party
mechanism, the ASEAN.

3) Furthermore, Mr. Kasit said that “he has informed the UNSC meeting
that the negotiation process between Thailand and Cambodia was still on-going
through mechanisms such as the Thai-Cambodian Joint Commission for
Demarcation of Land Boundary (JBC), the General Border Committee (GBC)...”

Thai Minister has intentionally forgotten, obviously it was not the case.
The minutes of the three meetings {of JBC} have been at stand still, and perhaps
have been laid in rest, in the Thai Parliament for years. As per Thai constitution,
it needs to be adopted! For that reason, Thai government cannot move the case
further. Cambodia knows this well, and for this Prime Minister Samdech Hun
Sen has more than enough patience, that the bilateral negotiation with Thailand
is in deep freeze!

4) To the question whether the outcome of the UNSC meeting would be


binding on other international organizations such as the International Court of
Justice (ICJ), Mr. Kasit replied that “following the outcome of the meeting, there
would have to be further negotiation between Thailand and Cambodia. The
UNSC did not forward the matter to the ICJ. Nevertheless, should Cambodia
wish to present its case to the ICJ, it could do so, and Thailand would be ready to
deal with that.” The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that “Nevertheless,
he {Mr. Kasit} believed that at this point, bilateral negotiations could still move
forward.

Again, may I bring the attention of the public opinion to the above
mentioned mechanisms as stated by Thai Foreign Minister.

There should be no bilateral talks. The talks can move forward only with
the presence of the third party. To that end, the UN Security Council requested
the Chairman of the ASEAN to entertain the two parties, which Thailand has
steadfastly refused.

2/4
In his press conference yesterday Cambodia Prime Minister re-iterated
once again as he has always requested repeatedly for the assistance from ASEAN
and/or from the UN to settle the so-called “border dispute” and the border
clashes. But, Thai Prime Minister has always opposed it. This time Thailand has
no other choice, but must be prepared to attend the round table in Jakarta on 22
February 2011.

Samdech Hun Sen, for his part is ready. He has instructed Cambodia’ s
Foreign Minister to prepare a draft “Settlement Agreement” paper, if agreed by
both parties it should be signed in the witness thereof by a neutral third party, in
this case it would be logically be the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia.

It should be a binding agreement mechanism and may contain some


wordings such as “...the parties agree to establish a permanent ceasefire and to
implement it fully and resolve the situation peacefully and amicably and through
effective dialogue...”. For that, I did agree with the statement of H.E. Mrs. Maria
Ribeiro Viotti.

With the above mentioned mechanism, Thailand may refer to the


establishment of Franco-Siamese Settlement on 17 November 1946 signed in
Washington, DC in accordance with the international norm redacted by the
General Act of Geneva of 26 September 1928 concerning “Pacific Settlement of
International Disputes.” The border issue is an international dispute.

If all mechanisms as suggested by the UNSC or the ASEAN fail, Cambodia


may bring the dispute to the ICJ as that would be inevitable.

As far as the International Court of Justice in The Hague is concerned, the


frontier line which is currently in dispute, as Thailand has always raised,
Thailand has already itself accepted the Court decision.

I would like to draw the public attention to the International Court of


Justice of the United Nations and its judgment delivered on June 15, 1962 based
on Annex I Map. The Court said and 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”.

To this end, the Court found that the “Temple of Preah Vihear is situated
in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia”; and that “Thailand was 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.”

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According to the Court decision, it means that the vicinity of the Temple of
Preah Vihear belongs to Cambodia. There is no such a so-called “overlapping
area” for 4.6 km2 as claimed by Thailand.

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. Unlike Cambodia, 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.

Thank you for your kind attention in my open letter.

Enclosures:
Done in Phnom Penh, February 18, 2011

Sam Sotha
Former Ambassador for Mine Action,
Explosive Remnants of War (ERW), Cluster
Munitions and Disarmament

CC: H.E. Mr. Khiev Kanharith


Minister of Information
Royal Government of Cambodia

Note: Mr. Sam Sotha is also the author of “In the Shade of A Quiet Killing
Place” A Personal Memoire.
For the book go to web site: htt://www.heavenlakepress.com

4/4
ขาวตางประเทศ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand
Foreign Minister gives phone-in interview on UNSC meeting
regarding Thai-Cambodia situation
BANGKOK - Wed 16 Feb 2011 13:32:42

On 15 February 2011, at 10.00 hrs, Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya gave a phone-in
interview to the media from New York on the outcome of the United Nations Security
Council (UNSC) meeting on 14 February 2011, which addressed the recent border
incidents between Thailand and Cambodia. Excerpts are as follows:

1. The Foreign Minister explained the background of his participation in the said UNSC
meeting, which followed Cambodia’s submission of a letter addressed to the Permanent
Representative of Brazil to the United Nations, in her capacity as the President of the
UNSC for the month of February. Cambodia had requested the United Nations to
intervene in the matter between Thailand and Cambodia, claiming that bilateral
negotiations between two countries had failed and that Cambodia was under attack by a
more powerful state.

2. The Foreign Minister briefed the media on the outcome of the UNSC meeting on 14
February 2011, saying that the meeting began with a background report on Thai-
Cambodia relations by Mr. B. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General of the United
Nations for Political Affairs, followed by the statements by Cambodia, Thailand, and
Indonesia, respectively. Then, the floor was open for the UNSC member countries for
discussion. All UNSC member countries shared the view that bilateral mechanisms
between Thailand and Cambodia remain necessary and must therefore continue so that
both countries could complete the process of survey and demarcation of their boundary.
They also called on the two countries to establish a permanent ceasefire. They viewed
that negotiations must be supported by Indonesia as the ASEAN chair. The outcome of
this meeting showed that Cambodia’s objective of getting the UN involved, especially
calling for the dispatch of a UN observer mission to the Thai-Cambodian border, was not
achieved. On the contrary, the UN has requested that Cambodia return to bilateral
negotiations with Thailand.

3. The Foreign Minister also informed the UNSC meeting that the negotiation process
between Thailand and Cambodia was still on-going through mechanisms such as the
Thai-Cambodian Joint Commission for Demarcation of Land Boundary (JBC), the
General Border Committee (GBC) between two Ministers of Defence, and the Regional
Border Committee (RBC) between the Commanding General of the Second Army
Region of Thailand and the Fourth Army Commander of Cambodia. On Thailand’s part,
it has always demonstrated its readiness to negotiate with Cambodia. For instance, the
Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs has extended an invitation to Cambodia to attend a
meeting of the JBC on 27 February 2011 in Thailand. Furthermore, General Prawit
Wongsuwan, Minister of Defence, has also confirmed that his Ministry was ready to hold
talks with Cambodia at the earliest opportunity. When these mechanisms could meet
therefore depended upon whether Cambodia would have the political will and how it
would respond to the outcome of the UNSC meeting. The Foreign Minister had sought a
meeting with Mr. Hor Namhong, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of
Cambodia, in New York on 15 February 2011 (New York time) to discuss on ways and
means to further bilateral negotiations. At this juncture, the Cambodian side has yet to
accept this proposal.

4. In response to the question by the media whether villagers living along the Thai-
Cambodia border could be more confident about their safety after the diplomatic talks
had already been held, the Foreign Minister said that Cambodia realizes that both
countries now have an obligation to establish a permanent ceasefire. Thailand does not
have any problem on the implementation of the ceasefire as Thailand has always
reiterated that it was not the first to shoot and has not targeted civilians. However, this
matter also depends on Cambodia.

To the question whether the outcome of the UNSC meeting would be binding on other
international organizations such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the Foreign
Minister replied that following the outcome of the meeting, there would have to be further
negotiation between Thailand and Cambodia. The UNSC did not forward the matter to
the ICJ. Nevertheless, should Cambodia wish to present is case to the ICJ, it could do
so, and Thailand would be ready to deal with that. Nevertheless, he believed that at this
point, bilateral negotiations could still move forward.

For further information, please contact the Press Division, Department of


Information:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Tel.02-6435170
Fax.02-6435169
E-mail: div0704@mfa.go.th