Byline on the Border Conflict from the Statesman Newspaper in India

This is the second byline I got and it is the most important one for me. I asked my editor to put my name on and he agreed.

By Sun Narin

Following the International Court of Justice’s decision to the withdrawal of Thai and Cambodian troops from the militarized zone, Cambodian Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong said to the reporters at Phnom Penh International airport on Wednesday at the time of his arrival from the Hague that Cambodia welcomed meetings with Thailand before withdrawing troops from the surrounding area of the 11th century Preah Vihear temple.

“Cambodia does turn down either General Border Committee meeting or Joint Border Committee meeting with Thailand ahead of the troop pullout. But the new Thai government will take office soon, so PM Abhisit Vejjajiva has no time to talk on this issue,” he told the reporters.

He added that when the Indonesian observers arrive, Cambodia will withdraw its troops to follow the Court’s order.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva who has just lost the vote, called a meeting with relevant agencies on Tuesday, to discuss the World Court’s ruling and he told the reporters after the meeting that Thai troops would remain in an unsettle border area surrounding the Preah Vihear temple in the meantime, waiting the negotiation between Thai ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense with the Cambodian side to comply with the World Court’s ruling according to Thai News Agency on Tuesday.

On Monday, the International Court of Justice in The Hague has ordered both Cambodia and Thailand to withdraw “all military personnel” from a newly created demilitarized zone around the Preah Vihear temple.

PM Abhisit Vejjajiva said that,”The ruling is a temporary provisional measure and it will not have a binding commitment to Thai sovereignty and the ruling does not place Thailand at a disadvantage.” He adds, “The withdrawal of soldiers is not a simple walk because there are procedures and it requires the prevention of infiltration.”

According to the statement of Cambodia’s government issued on Monday, Cambodia fully supports the order of the International Court of justice, which is completely responsive to the request of Cambodia that wants peace in the area of the Temple of Preah Vihear, the observers to be stationed in the provisional demilitarized zone and the continuation of normal civilian activities.

The statement continued that Cambodia hopes that the Thai Royal Government will accept and comply with the correct decisions of ICJ.


Yingluck Shinawatara, would-be prime minister, said she was ready to support the protection of the Thai sovereignty and improve relations with Cambodia to promote mutual economic growth.

However, Cambodian critics over the temple say that the negotiations will not bear fruitful as both sides have done it several times already.

The conflict between the two countries has occurred since the listing of Preah Vihear temple as the world’s heritage on July 7, 2008, which has caused the deaths of troops and damage on the temple.