26 Oct 2009


Senators call for protest over Hun Sen's remarks
"What Hun Sen said was out of line with diplomatic protocol which should be answered with a formal protest instead of a verbal spat," Senator Kamnoon Sithisaman said.Kamnoon also urged a delay in the parliamentary debate on three documents related to Cambodian-Thai border issues and effectively put on hold any negotiations on the 4.6-square kilometre disputed area surrounding the Preah Vihear Temple.He went on to demand that the government protest to the United Nations and Unesco for listing the temple as a World Heritage Site.Senator Anothai Rithipanyawong said Thais angered by the temple controversy will rally on November 2 at the Cambodian Embassy in Bangkok.The number of people attending the upcoming rally is expected to swell due to the adverse sentiment following Hun Sen's remarks, he said.He added that the government must demonstrate to the people about its steadfastness in dealing with such remarks.Senator Paiboon Nititawan warned that anti-Cambodian sentiment in the Northeast would rise if Thaksin sought and received permission to live in exile in Cambodia."Time will come to revisit historical lessons about the battles between Thailand and Cambodia," he said.Paiboon said the government should act decisively to uphold national integrity instead of allowing bilateral economic interests to cloud its judgement.Senator Sumol Sutawiriya said Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva should not tolerate Hun Sen's snub. Thais want Cambodians to know that we will not allow them to trample on our national pride, she added.In a related development, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thuagsuban said he had had a two-hour talk with Hun Sen after the dinner for Asean leaders on Saturday.Suthep said he explained the full situation regarding Thaksin and the collapse of the two governments under Samak Sundaravej and Somchai Wongsawat.He said he also told Hun Sen about the parliamentary means by which the Abhisit government came to power."Following my explanation, Hun Sen promised not to make any more comments on the matter," he said.Suthep said he urged the Cambodian prime minister to set aside personal feelings in order to advance bilateral ties.

Cambodian PM 'was misinformed'

The Foreign Ministry will send Cambodian Premier Hun Sen a note detailing former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's political status here to defuse tensions generated by Hun Sen's comments last week.

"I understand that Prime Minister Hun Sen made such remarks because he was misinformed about Thaksin and the whole situation in Thailand, so we have to give him the facts," Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said yesterday.Hun Sen said upon his arrival at the Asean Summit that he would offer Thaksin refuge in Cambodia and appoint him as an adviser. He said Thaksin was a victim of political changes in the wake of the 2006 coup."We will tell him what happened in Thailand over the past three years and that his many trials have nothing to do with the coup," Kasit said.The letter would not be an argument or condemnation of Hun Sen but just a plain description of Thaksin, the political situation and Thailand's justice system, he said.Many criminal cases arose before the coup and asset concealment actually took place only within Thaksin's family, he said. Hun Sen's invitation to Thaksin threw more fuel on the fire after the two countries have faced off over the controversial Preah Vihear Temple for over a year.The government had Deputy PM Suthep Thaugsuban explain the matter to Hun Sen during his two-night stay in Thailand. The foreign ministry would make the clarification and send it through diplomatic channels to him again within a week to make sure he gets the right picture, Kasit said.While declining to interpret Hun Sen's move, Kasit said his government would simply regard the incident as the Cambodian premier, who is an old friend of Thaksin, just getting the wrong idea.Kasit rejected a demand by a group of senators to retaliate against Hun Sen since the two governments have promised to jointly develop their countries and not to bring up internal politics. "We don't allow a minor thing to jeopardise the entire relationship," he said.

Anupong says Thai-Cambodian local military officials still have good ties

Army Commander-in-Chief Gen Anupong Paochinda said the Thai and Cambodian military officials in charge of the areas near the disputed border still have good relations.He said the military of the two countries would not use force to settle the dispute despite of exchange of verbal attacks between the two governments.He said the border disputes would be settled through bilateral mechanisms of the two countries."I hereby affirm that there will be no war and we will not use force to settle the disputes," Anupong said.

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