Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pedra Branca trial enters its third day - Nov 16

Pedra Branca trial enters its third day

THE HAGUE (Netherlands) - MALAYSIA on Thursday sought to portray all that Britain and Singapore did on Pedra Branca in the last 150 years as actions of a lighthouse operator, not a state exercising sovereignty over the island.

As for those activities it could not link to Hosburgh lighthouse on the disputed island, Malaysia charged that some of those had been carried out in secret, making it impossible for it to protest against them.

The others were unrelated to sovereignty, it said on the third day of its oral pleadings
That was how two of Malaysia's international counsel, Sir Elihu Lauterpacht and Professor James Crawford, sought to dismiss all the evidence Singapore had brought before the court to show it had exercised sovereignty over the island for more than 150 years.

Singapore and Malaysia are appearing before the International Court of Justice to resolve their dispute over the sovereignty of Pedra Branca, an island 40km east of Singapore and which stands at the eastern entrance of the Singapore Strait.

Malaysia's stand is the the Johor sultanate had a title to Pedra Branca - which they call Pulau Batu Puteh - from time immemorial.

It claims the Johor rulers gave permission to Britian to build and operate a lighthouse there, and that Singapore continued to do so after it gained independence.

Singapore disputes that.

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