Thai envoy meets for the first time on Tuesday Thai engineer detained in a Cambodian prison on charge of spying flight information of ex-Thai Thaksin Shinawatra and Cambodia’s PM Hun Sen.
The Cambodian side contacted Thai embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday morning, confirming that the envoy; Chalotorn Paowiboon, can meet Siwarak Chutipong at the prison. Later the envoy then met Siwarak and contacted his mother; Simaluck Na Nakhon Panom, allowing him to talk to his mother. Simaluck quoted her son as saying that he is ok.
This is the first contact of Siwarak since he was arrested last week in Phnom Penh last week. Cambodian authorities had earlier refused consular visit of Thai embassy in Phnom Penh. Simaluck who was a teacher of Nakhon Ratchasima Technical College in Nakhon Ratchasima said she was ready to go to Phnom Penh to visit her son.
Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said on Friday that Cambodia’s arrest of a Thai engineer on spying charges is nothing more than intimidation with the intention to defame Thailand. Cambodia has charged Siwarak Chothipong, an engineer of Cambodia Air Traffic Services, for “stealing” the flight information of ex-Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra and Cambodia’s PM Hun Sen.
Cambodian prosecutors alleged that Siwarak stole the information and sent it to Thai embassy’s first secretary Kamrob Palawatwichai. Cambodia on Thursday expelled Kamrob following the accusation that he had executed work in contradiction to his position. He was ordered to leave the country within 48 hours. “It is clearly intimidation with intent to defame Thailand by Cambodia,” said Kasit, who cut short his participation in ministerial preparatory meetings for the Apec Summit in Singapore.
He accused Thaksin of being the major cause of all the problems Thailand having with Cambodia. He said he had assigned officials of Thai embassy in Phnom Penh to assist and provide legal advice to Siwarak. Cambodia’s appointment of Thaksin as the adviser to Hun Sen and his government has seen the start of the current diplomatic rows between the neighbouring countries. Both have recalled their ambassadors and the first secretaries. Thailand has downgraded relations and reviewed cooperation with and loans given to Cambodia.
Thai and Cambodian diplomatic flares again Thursday after Cambodia expels a first secretary of Thai embassy in Phnom Penh. Cambodia’s Foreign Ministry ordered one of the Thai Embassy’s the first secretaries to leave the country within 48 hours, starting from 5pm.
Learning of the order, the Thai side countered by expelling the first secretary of the Cambodian Embassy in Bangkok and ordering him to leave the country within 48 hours, starting from 5pm, said Thai government spokesman Panithan Wattanayakorn.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Thursday ordered an review of two road construction projects with Cambodia which involved loans of more than Bt1.4 bn to Phnom Penh.
The review is a further move of his government to protest Cambodia’s appointment of convicted ex-Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra as economic adviser to Khmer PM Hun Sen and his government.
Deputy Finance Minister Pruetichai Damrongrat told reporters that the No 68 road will link Chong Chom checkpoint in Surin province to Cambodia. Meanwhile Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said that the cabinet will not consider an financial assistance of Bt31 million to Cambodia in its meeting next week.
The proposal is put on hold as a measure of Thailand to protest Cambodia. In a separate interview, Abhisit said he was considering further measures against Cambodia, but vowed that his government would not seal off checkpoints on the border and said that the rift with Phnom Penh would not lead to violence.
“I don’t want the situation going out of control,” he said.
The Cambodian government on Thursday evening announced to temporarily call back its Ambassador to Thailand, a move came shortly after Thai government’s recall of its ambassador to Cambodia.
The decision was announced at 8:30 pm local time by Sok An, minister of council of ministers, at a hastily arranged press conference.”The move we took is a response to Thai’s recall of its Ambassador to Cambodia,” Sok An said.”That we appointed Thaksin as our government’s adviser is Cambodia’s internal affairs and conforms to international practice.
“Earlier Thursday, the Thai government decided to recall its Ambassador to Cambodia to protest against the appointment of the ousted former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra as adviser of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and the government.
The decision came one day after Cambodian government announced appointment of Thaksin as adviser of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and his government. The appointment was signed by by Cambodia’s King Norodom Sihamoni. Moreover, the Cambodian government repeated its refusal to extradite Thaksin if requested.
The Thai government said that it is ready to demand of revising bilateral agreements, which have been agreed by the two countries.
The Thai government’s movement is based on diplomatic principle, which does not intend to any violence to occur between the two neighboring countries, Thai Foreign Ministry said.
Thailand on Thursday recalled its ambassador to Phnom Penh in protest at Cambodia’s appointment of convicted ex-Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra as economic adviser to Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen and his government.
The Thai government will demand reviews of bilateral agreements and commitments signed between Thailand and Cambodia by both present and past governments, according to the statement issued on Thursday.
Thai Ambassador to Phnom Penh Prasas Prasavinitchai is scheduled to arrive in Bangkok at 3pm.
The Cambodian government appointed fugitive Thaksin as economic adviser to Hun Sen and the Cambodian government in an order signed by Cambodia’s King Norodom Sihamoni on Wednesday.
Hun Sen announced upon his arrival in Thailand in October to attend the Asean Summit that he had offered Thaksin, who he regards as a friend, a residence and a job as his economic adviser.
The Thai Foreign Ministry’s decision to recall the ambassador is the strongest protest made in years.
The statement also mentioned that the ongoing cooperation between the two countries would be put on hold for the time being.
Foreign Minister’s secretary Chavanont Intarakomalsut said the appointment of Thaksin as Hun Sen’s adviser was considered as intervening in the Thai justice system.
“The appointment of Thaksin as the adviser to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is regarded as an intervention in Thailand’s internal affairs and an insult to the Thai justice system,” he said in a press conference.
The appointment clearly showed that the Khmer premier failed to distinguish between his personal interests and the mutual interests of the two countries, he said.
“I would like to thank (Cambodia’s Prime Minister)’s Hun Sen for appointing me as his economic adviser,” Thaksin said in his twitter (Thaksinlive).
Cambodia has already sent him a copy of the appointment that signed by Cambodia’s King Norodom Sihamoni.
However he said he would enjoy more doing the job for Thai people.
King Sihamoni signed the Royal Decree of the appointment of Thaksin Shinawatra on Oct 27. The appointment was made in accordance with the country’s constitutions and at the request of Prime Minister Hun Sen.
As Hun Sen arrived in Hua Hin to attend Asean Summit in October, he declared “Thaksin can stay in Cambodia as a guest of Cambodia. He can also be my adviser on the economy”.
The Cambodian leader repeated an earlier invitation to Thaksin to stay in Cambodia and rejected Thai claims that Phnom Penh would have to extradite the tycoon.
“Our concern is for humanitarian reasons, it is friends helping friends. The internal affairs of Thailand would be left for Thai people to resolve, I am not interfering,” said Hun Sen.
Cambodia also issued a statement, saying it will not extradite Thaksin at a request from Thailand if he comes and stays in Cambodia. Meanwhile, it said that the Royal Government will continue its policy of having friendly relations with Thailand.