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Jakarta Post

Temple dispute and ASEAN conflict settlement

  • Bambang Hartadi Nugroho

Jakarta   /   Sat, February 12 2011   /  12:39 pm

While all eyes are directed towards affairs in Tunisia and Egypt, another urgent situation stemming from a rather neglected issue is occurring in our own backyard. A scuffle between Thai and Cambodian forces occurred along the border between both countries, near the Preah Vihear Temple, on Feb. 4.The origin of the conflict over Preah Vihear is a century old. According to a border settlement between Cambodia’s French colonial government and the Kingdom of Siam, the temple and the area surrounding it was Cambodian territory. Yet, in 1938 the Thai government reclaimed the area and occupied it until 1958 when both sides held a series of negotiations to resolve the issue. They did not come to an agreement. In 1959, the countries brought the case to the International Court of Justice. The Court decided in 1962 that the temple belonged to Cambodia and that Thailand should withdraw its forces ...