Advertisement

The Thailand–Cambodia Preah Vihear Temple Dispute: Its Past, Present and Future

  • Nichan SinghaputargunEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Asia in Transition book series (AT, volume 3)

Abstract

A Thai–Cambodian territorial dispute over the Preah Vihear temple flared up in 2008 when the Thai government co-signed a Joint Communiqué that supported Cambodia’s request to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to list the temple as a World Heritage site. This move triggered protests in Thailand and even developed to armed clashes between the two countries in the period 2008–2011. These developments undermined the conventional ASEAN approach to managing interstate conflict, as exemplified by conflict avoidance through self-restraint. Bilateral talks to manage the crisis and dispute failed, and the same happened to mediation and peacekeeping efforts by ASEAN. This regional bloc was unable to handle conflict on its own due to lack of authority, enforcement, and expertise. It was ultimately through the verdict of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the disputed land and the change of Thai government from an anti-Cambodian administration to a more pro-Cambodian one that a crisis was brought to an end. Although the dispute still continues to date, the findings of this chapter point out the possibility of its final settlement through a more effective mobilization of international expertise, knowledge, and skills, which have been made available through the course of the dispute.

Keywords

Preah Vihear temple Conflict avoidance Self-restraint International Court of Justice Boundary demarcation Confidence-building 

References

  1. ASEAN Secretariat. (1976). Treaty of amity and cooperation in Southeast Asia. http://agreement.asean.org/media/download/20131230235433.pdf. Accessed June 11, 2015.
  2. Chachavalpongpun, P. (2013). Thai-Cambodian conflict: The failure of ASEAN’s dispute management. Asian Journal of Peacebuilding, 1(1), 65–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Charooroj, M. L. W. (2010). Facts and evidences: Thai-Cambodian border dispute (Translation from Thai language). Bangkok, Thailand: Bann Phra Arthit Publisher.Google Scholar
  4. Grabowsky, V. (2014). Heritage and nationalism in the dispute. Online paper 3. SEATIDE (Integration in Southeast Asia Conference: Trajectories of Inclusion, Dynamics of Exclusion: Dynamic of Integration and Dilemmas of Divergence in Contemporary SEA, Malaysia), 1–5. https://www.academia.edu/8744802/Heritage_Nationalism_and_Discourses_on_the_Preah_Vihear_Dispute. Accessed Mar 5, 2015.
  5. International Court of Justice. (1962). Summary of the judgment of 15 June 1962: Case concerning of the temple of Preah Vihear (Cambodia vs. Thailand). http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?sum=284&p1=3&p2=3&case=45&p3=5. Accessed Jan 6, 2015.
  6. International Court of Justice. (2011). Request for interpretation of the judgement of 15 June 1962 in the case concerning the temple of Preah Vihear (Cambodia v. Thailand), 1–4. http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/151/16582.pdf. Accessed Jan 10, 2015.
  7. International Court of Justice. (2013). Advisory opinions and orders: Request for international of the judgment of 15 June 1962 in the case concerning the temple of Preah Vihear (Cambodia v. Thailand), 1–5. http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/151/17714.pdf. Accessed May 6, 2015.
  8. International Crisis Group. (2011). Waging peace: ASEAN and the Thai-Cambodian border conflict. Asian Report No. 215, 1–44. http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/asia/south-east-asia/thailand/215%20Waging%20Peace%20–%20ASEAN%20and%20the%20Thai-Cambodian%20Border%20Conflict.pdf. Accessed Jan 24, 2014.
  9. Isaranews Agency. (2014). 9 years: 2 military coup, battle of red shirts under Thaksin support (Translation from Thai language). http://www.isranews.org/isranews-scoop/item/30088-udd_05_02.html Accessed June 1, 2015.
  10. John, R. B. (1998). The land boundaries of Indochina: Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Boundary & Territory Briefing, 2(6), 1–59.Google Scholar
  11. Lieutenant Colonel “A”. (2014). Interview with Lieutenant Colonel “A”. 10 April, Bangkok.Google Scholar
  12. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (2006). General information of the Preah Vihear temple case and negotiation of borderlines between Thailand and Cambodia (Translation from Thai language). Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Thailand. http://www.thaiconsulatechicago.org/uploads/41136.pdf. Accessed Mar 8, 2015.
  13. Plattes, T. (2010). The temple torn between two nations: A legal and political analysis of the on-going conflict over the Preah Vihear temple on the Cambodia-Thai Border (repot written for UNDP-Cambodia). School of Law, University of San Francisco, 1–25. http://www.usfca.edu/law/clgj/scholarship/student_research/. Accessed Jan 24, 2015.
  14. Royal Thai Embassy at Phnom Penh. (2004). The meeting Thailand-Cambodia joint development of the Preah Vihear temple. http://www.thaiembassy.org/phnompenh/contents/files/news-document-849.pdf. Accessed May 9, 2015.
  15. Samnang, S. (2013). The seminar of the Preah Vihear case: What happens now? Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. http://www.cha-khmer.org/Activities%20to%20Singapore.html. (cited from Cambodian Historian Association Website). Accessed 27 Mar 2015.
  16. Security Council Report (2011). Updated report No.1: Thailand/Cambodia. http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/update-report/lookup-c-glKWLeMTIsG-b-6552935.php. Accessed 19 Apr 2015.
  17. Sukplang, S. (2008, July 28). Thailand reinforces border over temple row. Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/07/16/idUSBKK336606. Accessed 28 Apr 2015.
  18. The ASTV Online. (2008, July 8). The Preah Vihear temple case: Unconstitutional (Translation from Thai language). http://www.manager.co.th/Politics/ViewNews.aspx?NewsID=9510000080102. Accessed Oct 10, 2014.
  19. The Cambodia National Commission for UNESO. (2009). A challenge to Thailand’s denunciation of UNESCO and the World Heritage Committee, 14–15. http://www.pressocm.gov.kh/files/documents/CHALLENGE_ENG.pdf. Accessed June 13, 2015.
  20. The Financial Express. (2008, July 22). ASEAN fails to win Thai-Cambodia breakthrough, 1–47. http://archive.financialexpress.com/news/Asean-fails-to-win-ThaiCambodia-breakthrough/339081. Accessed June 1, 2015.
  21. The Geographer Office. (1996). International Boundary Study, Cambodia-Thailand Boundary No. 40 (Revised). Bureau of Intelligence and Research. http://archive.law.fsu.edu/library/collection/LimitsinSeas/IBS040.pdf. Accessed Mar 8, 2015.
  22. Wagener, M. (2011). Lessons from Preah Vihear: Thailand, Cambodia, and the nature of law-intensity border conflict. Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 30(3), 27-59. http://www.martin-wagener.org/tl_files/Dokumente/Wagener-GIGA%20-LowIntensityBorderConflict-2011.pdf. Accessed 7 May 2014.Google Scholar
  23. Woon, W. (2011). Dispute settlement in ASEAN. Occasional paper at Centre for International Law, Law Faculty, National University of Singapore. http://cil.nus.edu.sg/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/DISPUTE-SETTLEMENT-IN-ASEAN-KSIL-ProfWalterWoon.pdf. Accessed Feb 14 2015.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universiti Brunei DarussalamBandar Seri BegawanBrunei Darussalam

Personalised recommendations