Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Chavalit: All in the national interest

Published: 27/10/2009

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Former prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh insisted on Tuesday his visit to Cambodia was all for the national interest and had nothing to do with ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Gen Chavalit was widely criticised and accused of worsening the political situation and Thai-Cambodian relations following his one-day visit to Phnom Penh to meet Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen last week.

"I respect those who criticised me, but I believe they do not understand my actions. I haven't had the chance to explain yet but there should be no problems," the Puea Thai Party chairman said.

Gen Chavalit insisted he travelled to Cambodia to promote bilateral trade and help eases tensions after he received a proposal from the border committee.

"I'll have to be more careful in my work now my role has been criticised. I know those who criticised me and I will find a chance to talk to them," he said.

The leader-in-waiting of the opposition party said he would visit the five southernmost provinces next Tuesday for briefings on the continuing separatist insurgency and planned to later visit Malaysia and Burma.

Gen Chavalit said he would wait for an invitation from Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak before heading to Kuala Lumpur for talks.. He had known the Malaysian premier since when they were both defence ministers.

"I'll visit Malaysia and Burma to see my old friends and there is no hidden agenda," he said.

Puea Thai MP for Samut Prakan Pracha Prasopdee revealed that the party had 200,000 Thaksin rubber masks to distribute.

"The party will give out the masks to people so they can welcome someone who is expected to arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport next Monday," Mr Pracha said.

The MP refused to reveal the person's identity.

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