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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thaksin gives lecture for his role as adviser of Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, Ousted former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Thursday took his role for the first time as adviser of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Royal Government of Cambodia to give a lecture to more than 300 Cambodian economic experts at the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Thaksin's first lecture focused on "Strategy to Fight Financial and Economic Crisis."

Keat Chhon, deputy prime minister and minister of economy and finance, said in his welcome speech that "He (Thaksin) initiated many eye-catching policies ... They affected the economy, public health, education, energy, social order, drug suppression and international relations."

"I think that there are a lot of things we can learn from Thaksin's very recent and distinctive experiences in order to design our own policies to address the challenges posed by the crisis and bring our economy back to its high growth record.

Relations between the two neighboring countries were further strained recently after Cambodia named ousted former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra its economic adviser. Thailand recalled its ambassador Thursday, and Cambodia followed suit.

Thaksin was ousted in a 2006 military coup for alleged massive corruption and other charges. His supporters say he should be pardoned and returned to power. Since the coup, Thaksin has lived abroad to escape a corruption conviction and two-year prison sentence.

Thaksin arrived here on Tuesday. After his arrival, Thailand government asked Cambodia to "provisional arrest for the purpose of extradition of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, but was turned down by Cambodian government saying it "considers the prosecution and legal process against Thaksin Shinawatra as a politically motivated proceeding."

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen held talks with Thaksin for nearly two hours at his Takhmau surburb residence. Hun Sen also said that he has no plan to discuss Thaksin's visit in Cambodia during Saturday's meeting between ASEAN leaders and U.S. President Barack Obama in Singapore on the sideline of APEC meeting.

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