Cambodia-backed map was 'never endorsed': Thaksin legal adviser

Bangkok (The Nation/ANN) - Previous governments in Thailand led by the Thai Rak Thai and People Power parties never accepted the 1:200,000-scale map used by Cambodia to make its case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Preah Vihear dispute, a legal adviser to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra said yesterday.

Noppadon Pattama dismissed any suggestion that the governments signed papers endorsing the use of the controversial map, which was largely blamed for Thailand's loss of the Preah Vihear Temple in 1962.

The map is in the spotlight again as the ICJ is holding hearings on Cambodia's request for the court to interpret its 1962 judgement. That judgement held that the ancient temple sits on Cambodian soil, but the status of the land in its vicinity was left unclear.

Noppadon yesterday maintained that a joint statement signed by the People Power Party-led government and Cambodia was made to protect Thailand's rights over the disputed area. "The members of Thailand's legal team are also involved in preparing that joint statement," he said.

Noppadon was referring to Virachai Plasai, the Thai ambassador to The Netherlands, and French lawyer Prof Alain Pellet. He also pointed out that because of that statement, Cambodia saw only the Preah Vihear Temple inscribed as a World Heritage site; the disputed area was not included.

Armed Forces Supreme Commander General Thanasak Patimakorn, meanwhile, said the border situation remained normal. "Thai and Cambodian soldiers enjoy good ties," he said.

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