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PAD scholars want court to rule temple, land is Thai

Written By vibykhmer on Sunday, September 13, 2009 | 10:48 PM

http://www.bangkokpost.com
12/09/2009

Academics from the People's Alliance for Democracy have asked the Civil Court to rule that the disputed Preah Vihear temple and surrounding land belongs to Thailand.

The 10 yellow shirt academics yesterday petitioned the Civil Court in Bangkok, which has no international jurisdiction, to make the ruling.

They also accused Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, his deputies Sok An and Hor Nam Hong and their subordinates of violating the Thai people's rights and liberty under the Thai constitution by encroaching on the area.

One of the group, ML Walwipa Charoonroj, an historian from Thammasat University, said she was glad that the court accepted the lawsuit for examination. The academics decided to take action because the Thai government did nothing to protect the land, she said.

Meanwhile, the government will discuss cutting troop numbers in the area.

According to a source, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya last Wednesday asked 2nd Army chief Wibulsak Neepal about the possibility of reducing the number of soldiers guarding the 4.6-square-kilometre disputed area.

Lt Gen Wibulsak said that the government would seek approval from parliament to reduce its forces and then would discuss the issue with the Cambodian government.

"We proposed the reductions in many locations in the disputed area but have not estimated by how much the military forces will be reduced and whether it will reach 50%," said the 2nd Army chief.

Lt Gen Wibulsak said Cambodia was cutting back its forces in the area where 3,000 Cambodian soldiers and 2,500 Thai troops are posted.

Cambodian Supreme Commander Gen Pol Sarouen told his Thai counterpart Supreme Commander Songkitti Jaggabatara in Cambodia two weeks ago that Hun Sen would halve Cambodian troops in the near future and would further cut his forces by another 20% late this year.

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