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Preah Vihear belongs to Cambodia

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Priest of SwagPriest of Swag (PRO)
I got trickeed into a two day debate. I don't know what "A couple minutes remaining" means, but it doesn't sound like it gives me enough time
Return To Top | Posted:
2014-05-30 20:18:09
| Speak Round
18Karl18Karl (CON)


During King Rama V’s Regime, the Kingdom of Siam (Thailand) was forced to concede huge amounts of territory to France. After 1893, when the Franco-Siamese Wars forced the Kingdom of Siam to concede its most valuable territory (and possibly the largest concession of the multiple series of losses), Laos, to France. However, Siamese Forces still rampaged in Laos, causing disruptions in “law and order” according to Cambodian sources [1]. 

Thailand was force to concede up to half of her territory of Thai territory (*cries*) through negotiations, wars, and business deals.

Arg. One: Invalidity of Annex I

 The negotiation of the 1904 Treaty was one of the many. The first article of this treaty stated that [2]:

The frontier between Siam and Cambodia starts, on the left shore of the Great Lake, from the mouth of the river Stung Roluos, it follows the parallel from that point in an easterly direction until it meets the river Prek Kompong Tiam, then, turning north- wards, it merges with the meridian from that meeting-point as far as the Pnom Dang Rek mountain chain. From there it follows the watershed between the basins of the Nam Sen and the Mekong, on the one hand, and the Nam Moun, on the other hand, and joins the Pnom Padang chain the crest of which it follows eastwards as far as the Mekong. Upstream from that point, the Mekong remains the frontier of the Kingdom of Siam.

Or in simpler terms, the watershed line. The watershed line dividing Thailand and Cambodia places Preah Vihear on the Thai side of the watershed. Thai and French representatives agreed on this map; Thailand did lose many other territories, but when this map was finalized, the status-quo ante of the 1962 decision placed Preah Vihear (accordingly to the watershed line) on the Thai Side. However, French authorities felt the need to update the map geographically; a French and Thai geographical team went on to map the borders of Thailand in 1907. Thailand conceded many territories; Battambang, Sisophon, Siem Reap [3], but there were no changes to the Preah Vihear section (formally). However, upon a more detailed inspection of the map, Thai authorities found that Preah Vihear was placed on the French Indochinese (Cambodian) side. The Thai Government wrote a formal complaint to the French Government, calling for a readjustment of the borders in 1939. This readjustment request was immediately forgotten in the face of World War II; however, in 1941, these territories, along with other territories, were given back after the Franco-Thai War of 1940-41, which led to the restoration of the pre-1904 borders. After the end of World War II, the 1907 borders were restored once again, with the exception of Preah Vihear, in which Thailand considered the temple as being part of Thailand itself.

In 1954, the Thai Tricolor was raised up upon the Preah Vihear Temple. This caused unease to the Cambodian State, who was just given freedom from French authorities. [4] The Cambodian Government issued a complaint to Thai authorities. They stated that accordingly to the 1907 Treaty (and the 1907 map), the Preah Vihear temple was on the Cambodian side. The Thai Government, however, insisted that the 1904 Treaty (and map) concluded that Preah Vihear was on the Thai side as the natural watershed placed it due east of the line. This case was taken, and finalized in the International Court of Justice in 1962. The decision was given in the favor of Cambodia. The ICJ concluded its court case with:

"The court concluded that Thailand had accepted the Annex I map [1907 map]. Even if there were any doubt in this connection, Thailand was not precluded from asserting that she had not accepted it since France and Cambodia had relied upon her acceptance and she had for fifty years enjoyed such benefits as the Treaty of 1904 has conferred on her."

However, before we make any more conclusions, we must examine Thailand’s points. In the 1907 Map, as stated before, was not a political but topographical map. There were changes made accordingly to the 1907 decision, but it is more than clear that Thailand always understood that the natural watershed line, which was agreed by both the mix commissions of mapmakers taking part during the negotiation of the 1904 and the 1907 Treaties. However, the International Court of Justice disregarded this evidence, even when it was more than clear that Thailand did not spot an error in the mapmaking of the French.

Thailand always accepted that the natural watershed line divided both countries; this watershed line placed Preah Vihear and the adjacent territories on the Thai side. This natural watershed was mapped upon by a French and Thai Mixed Commission in 1904 and was then agreed on during the latter treaties. The watershed line has always been the traditional dividing line between Thailand and Cambodia and by violating this, Cambodia and the ICJ has violated the Treaties that were concluded in 1904, citing a topographical map made in 1907. If the Cambodians were to have cited a political map, then their argument might have been strengthened. However, a political map would have still placed Preah Vihear on the Thai side, as the 1904 Treaty strictly stated so.

The best explanation for this lies in the following analogy:

There were two children who agreed on sharing beans. One child was older, so abiding by the agreement; he was to have to 5 beans. The other child was younger, so by the agreement, he was to have 3 beans. When the beans were shared, it was seen that the younger child had four beans while the elder one had four. However, this was not noticed until the beans were prepared for consuming; when this was noticed, the elder boy told the teacher. The teacher took no notice of the agreement and agreed that the status quo was to be restored.

This was what happened; Thailand did not take any notice of the Annex I (1907) map until 1939, in which Preah Vihear had and was already considered Thai territory. However, France did not take any notice of this, and when the lands were restored to Thai control forcibly, France agreed on doing so. Although the pre-1941 status quo was restored after World War II, Preah Vihear was never a dispute until 1954, in which the ICJ then deprived of Thailand’s ownership (in 1962).

 We can conclude with these syllogisms:

P1. All Thai Authorities before 1939 agreed that the 1904 political map was still in used and the natural watershed line placed Preah Vihear on the Thai side

P2. The Natural Watershed has always been the dividing factor between the two countries

C1. The ICJ and Cambodia has violated the Watershed, Article One of the 1904 Treaty, and the traditional dividing line between Cambodia and Thailand

P1. All sides in 1904 accepted the usage of the natural watershed line to justify and divide the two countries

P2. Preah Vihear was placed on the Thai side of the Watershed Line

C1. Preah Vihear belongs to Thailand

P1. All sides in 1907 agreed on some other territorial changes, but not the territory concerning Preah Vihear

P2. The Annex Imap was a topographical map that Cambodia used

C1. Annex I map is invalid


[1] http://ki-media.blogspot.com/2011/02/1904-1907-franco-siamese-treaties-in_17.html

[2] http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/45/4871.pdf [pg.16]

[3] http://www.scribd.com/doc/52376977/Treaty-of-March-23-1907-Between-France-and-Siam-and-the-Return-of-Battambang-and-Angkor-to-Cambodia [pg.13]

[4] http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~youkh22t/classweb/world_politics/history.html

Arg. Two: Cambodia has never disputed Thailand’s Ownership of the adjacent 4.6km land

Let us take this map as an example:

This is the Annex I map that the ICJ adopted in 1907. The red line shows the 1907 border. The 4.6km land is in Yellow. We can see that although the 4.6km strip of land was given to Cambodia (at the time), the 4.6km of adjacent land still lays under the Thai administration. An ICJ Document for the Reinterpretation of the 1962 Border states that [1]:

Turning to the position of Cambodia, the Court is also unable to accept its interpretation of “vicinity”. In its answer to the question put by a Member of the Court (see paragraph 83 above), Cambodia maintained that the vicinity includes not only the promontory of Preah Vihear but also the hill of Phnom Trap. 

The so-called “Hill of Phnom Trap” was within the 4.6km of land that Thailand has claimed. The ICJ, here, states that it is unable to accept Cambodia’s decision to maintain the 4.6km area that Cambodia has defined as “vicinity” areas. Thailand, unfortunately, has renounced claim to the temple itself (although evidence suggests that Thailand owns the temple itself) but not the 4.6km land. The Annex I map here suggests that, however, the 4.6km land belongs to Cambodia even when it is considered to be outside of the Temple Area when the 1904 treaty stated that it belonged to Thailand.

Here’s the catch; since Thailand has claimed the temple in 2008 (and when Thai forces launched repeated attacks on Cambodian forces), Thailand occupied the 4.6km territory. The territory still remains accessible to all Thai citizens without the need for a visa whatsoever to Cambodia. Wow. Let us do this again:

It can be approached more easily from Thailand. The approach from Kantharalak district of Sisaketprovince. An entrance fee of US$5 or 200 baht is charged foreigners (as of 2006, reduced to 50 baht for Thai citizens), plus a fee of 5 baht for processing a photocopy of their passport. Foreign nationals must pay an access fee of 400 baht to enter the surrounding Khao Pra Wihan National Park.

“Khao Pra Wihan National Park” refers to the 130km2 area that encompasses the 4.6km of land that Thailand has disputed. With some parts of the temple encompassing the 4.6km2 land, we can therefore conclude that parts of the temple belong to Thailand, because the Cambodian government has never disputed its ownership.

With these arguments and many more that I am about to present, the resolution...

Return To Top | Posted:
2014-05-30 21:08:31
| Speak Round

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Did the Great and Grorious Jifpop just say he was going to give up to me?
Posted 2014-06-03 13:04:52
Priest of SwagPriest of Swag
Man, I was actually going to play devils advocate, but this arguement it to solid for even the beat p what y I was going to give. Ill think about
Posted 2014-06-03 07:02:46
Reviewed. Then I pressed the wrong button. But I changed the ellipsis twice
Posted 2014-05-30 21:38:11
When you reviewed your argument, did it show the ellipsis at the end? Or was it only after submitting the argument?
Posted 2014-05-30 21:33:10
NOOOOOO wrong button :(

The last few words are:

"The Resolution is negated"
Posted 2014-05-30 21:09:22
My friend, you posting or what?
Posted 2014-05-30 20:49:18
It was. lol I needed this debate to be fast and decisive!
Posted 2014-05-30 20:22:14
Priest of SwagPriest of Swag
Woah, it says I only have a few moments to post. I thought this was three days :(
Posted 2014-05-30 20:17:13
My friend, you posting or what?
Posted 2014-05-30 20:01:11
Lemme do more research on it and I'll see.
Posted 2014-05-29 19:33:53
Priest of SwagPriest of Swag
Want to do a debate on the Russo-Georgian war? Only the lives of 10,000 Russians can appease my hatred for their actions.
Posted 2014-05-29 18:18:28
Eh cmon. We're in the same team after all
Posted 2014-05-29 17:48:16
Priest of SwagPriest of Swag
Just kidding, although I think the ad hominen would be worth the vote rack
Posted 2014-05-29 17:31:34
Ad Hominem wth!
Posted 2014-05-29 17:09:18
Priest of SwagPriest of Swag
Lol, alright. I could be cheap and keep innocently referring to you as a fascist
Posted 2014-05-29 12:21:11
Play all your cards Jif.
Posted 2014-05-29 12:17:19
Priest of SwagPriest of Swag
Good luck. Might play the Authoritarian regime argument
Posted 2014-05-29 12:14:08
Uh oh....this is going to be a tough battle
Posted 2014-05-27 23:23:06
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BoP of Pro: Preah Vihear belongs to Cambodia
BoP of Con: Preah Vihear belongs to Thailand