Wednesday, 24.9.2008: Constitution Day: 24 September 2008

Posted on 25 September 2008. Filed under: Week 579 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 579

Today is a National Holiday – Constitution Day – and while we do not have a regular publication, we use this opportunity to highlight some questions, related to the Constitution, related to the size of Cambodia.

The following is, first a quote from the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, followed by some other statements:

CHAPTER I – SOVEREIGNTY

Article 2:
The territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Cambodia, shall absolutely not to be violated within its borders as defined in the 1:100,000 scale map made between the year 1933-1953 and internationally recognized between the years 1963 – 1969.

A map of this scale is not very precise – one millimeter on the paper of the map corresponds to 100 meters in nature,

The Government says:

The Land Area of Cambodia is 181,035 sq.km

This is stated together with a map of the country calling Angkor Wat “one of the world’s seven wonders.”

But we could not find a source, how this land area of 181,035 sq.km was established. As it is well known in the course of recently setting border markers with Vietnam and Laos, the border had to be defined anew, where there was no marking from before. At the border to Thailand, there are overlapping claims and areas with open questions – open, at least, according to one or to the other side, and therefore clarification on the spot is necessary.

Fore example, while the government of Thailand has accepted the 1962 ruling of the International Court of Justice that the Temple of Preah Vihear is on Cambodian territory, the boundaries of this part of the “Cambodian territory” has not been finally and mutually agreed upon.

The length of the Cambodian coastal borderline is estimated to be 440, 445, or 450 km, while the total borderline – on land – is much bigger. And the contested area around the Preah Vihear Temple is 4.6 sq.km – is this included or not in the 181,035 sq.km?

Only once everything is agreed upon with the three neighboring countries, a new calculation of the area of Cambodia will become possible. It will be interesting to see what the result will be, after all border questions will have been solved in mutual agreement with all neighbors.

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – the public depends on reliable information

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