Soldiers withdraw from third disputed temple, Cambodia seeks UN intervention (again)

The standoff at the third disputed temple fizzles after two days, thanks to a calm meeting between the military commanders of boths sides over the weekend. This third incursion isn’t making relations between the two any better, and the Cambodian prime minister has indicated that they will seek to resolve the dispute through the UN, something that Cambodia has tried to do before.

Thai soldiers leave Ta Krabey
The Phnom Penh Post, 16 September 2008

Govt to take temple row to the UN
The Phnom Penh Post, 16 September 2008

Cambodia gripes that Thailand is ‘testing patience’
Bangkok Post, 15 September 2008

On July 22, Cambodia made an appeal to the Security Council during its military standoff with Thailand at the World Heritage-listed temple, but withdrew the complaint two days later after Thailand agreed to hold immediate talks on the issue. But discussions over a full troop withdrawal have stagnated, with the Thais requesting a postponement due to political tensions in Bangkok.

Union leader Rong Chhun told the Post Sunday that he had written to King Norodom Sihamoni, requesting that the monarch submit the border dispute to the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice.

“We see that the invasion by Thai soldiers is getting more serious and the government has no clear political will over the issue,” Rong Chhun said.


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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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