Friday, 20 November 2009

Thai PM: Gov't seeking ways to help Thai firm in Cambodia

November 19, 2009

(Posted by CAAI news Media)

The Thai Foreign Ministry has been instructed to help solve a problem at Cambodia Air Traffic Services Co Ltd (CATS) after the Cambodian government takes control of CATS, Premier Abhisit Vejjajiva said Thursday.

The Cambodian government has appointed a supervisor to oversee CATS, while Thai employees have not been allowed to continue working in the firm, Thai News Agency reported.

The Thai Foreign Ministry will look into agreements concerning investors' protection as CATS will consult with the ministry on how it can regain its own right, Abhisit said.

Cambodia Air Traffic Services Co Ltd is a wholly-owned unit of Thailand's Samart Corporation.

Abhisit said the Thai government has been working how to deal with Cambodia, which has claimed that the Cambodian government's action on CATS is concerned with security.

Having controlled CATS by the Cambodia government occurs after Siwarak Chothipong, a 31-year-old-Thai man, who worked as engineer at CATS, has been arrested from Nov. 11, according to the arrest warrant of prosecutor of Phnom Penh Municipality Court.

Cambodia has charged Siwarak of having had confidential information affecting Cambodia's national security, a senior Thai official said Wednesday.

According to a news report by the Khmer language newspaper Rasmei Kampuchea, Siwarak spied through copying the letters of flights of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in Cambodia and Prime Minister Hun Sen from CATS -- Cambodia Air Traffic Services Co Ltd which has duties to control all flights in country and he sent those reports to Thailand.

Siwarak has been detained in a prison in Phnom Penh since last week as the Thai government is now in the process of seeking a release for him.

Thailand and Cambodia have downgraded their diplomatic relations due to conflict over an appointment of Thaksin as an economic advisor to Cambodia's government and Prime Minister Hun Sen on Nov.4.

A day after the appointment of Thaksin, the Cambodian government announced recall of its ambassador to Thailand in a move to respond to the Thai government's recall of its ambassador to Cambodia.

Thaksin was ousted by the military coup in September 2006, in accusation of corruption, and has been kept in exile since then.

He returned to Thailand in February 2008 to face corruption charges, but he later fled into exile again and was convicted in absentia.

Source: Xinhua

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