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Monday, September 19, 2011

Kasit: Hun Sen's meddling cause for concern

Thailand should be concerned about Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen's actions now he has a Thai fugitive to his country, former foreign minister Kasit Piromya said on Monday.

Former foreign minister Kasit Piromya (right) and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen depart the stage after a group photo during the opening of the 16th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Vietnam on April 8, 2010. (Photo EPA)

"A group of journalists from Cambodia came to meet me and I asked them to tell Cambodian authorities that Thailand is apprehensive about Prime Minister Hun Sen, who held a reception for a fugitive instead of cooperating with Thai authorities by bringing that person back to face justice in his own country," Mr Kasit said.

The Democrat list MP said Hun Sen's action showed that he backed certain political groups and that he would not accept any other side that he did not support.

"The Cambodian premier is violating the Asean charter by intervening in Thailand's internal affairs, and should refrain from doing so.

"The Democrat Party has never interfered in Cambodia," he said.

On fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's comment that Thailand, Cambodia and Brunei are like brothers, Mr Kasit said the stance of the Sultan of Brunei was not yet known.

"The Sultan of Brunei is amataya [aristocrat elite] and the prai [peasants or commoners] must get his permission first," the Democrat MP said.

People were suspicious of the ties between Thaksin and Hun Sen and they should explain why they shared the same ideology, he said.

The Cambodian government could expedite the return of the two jailed yellow-shirt supporters, Veera Somkwamkid and Ratree Pipattanapaiboon, to Thailand. Their's was more a political case than a criminal case, Mr Kasit added.

Ousted premier Thaksin arrived in Phnom Penh on Sept 16 to attend the Asian Economic Forum Conference and meet Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Veera and Ratree were among the seven Thais arrested by Cambodian authorities for illegal entry in late December last year.

Five of them were released after being sentenced to a jail term for illegal entry and having served some time during the investigation.

Veera and his secretary were sentenced to eight and six years in prison respectively for illegal entry and an additional charge of espionage. Veera had previously been deported for illegal entry and warned not to do it again.

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