(Posted by CAAI News Media)
The Foreign Affairs Ministry will issue an official response to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, because he may have obtained incorrect information about former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the foreign minister's secretary said on Tuesday.
Mr Hun Sen expressed sympathy for Thaksin during the Asean summit last week. The Cambodian leader said Thaksin was treated unjustly and was homeless as a result.
He also said Thailand had allowed Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy, his political rival, to attack him from Thai soil.
Mr Chavanont said the Foreign Ministry's statement will outline the facts about Thaksin because Mr Hun Sen might have been given incorrect information, leading to a misunderstanding and uncomfortable feelings between Thailand and Cambodia.
Mr Chavanont said the government had nothing to do with Sam Rainsy being invited to speak at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand. Moreover, Sam Rainsy, unlike Thaksin, was not a convicted criminal and could enter the country as an ordinary tourist.
On the issue of Thaksin's possible extradition if he stays in Cambodia, he said this was a matter for the appropriate parties to determine prove whether he is a political victim or convicted criminal. It was not a subject for verbal argument.
Mr Chavanont said the Foreign Ministry has to be careful not to turn the Thaksin case into a dispute between countries. The government had no policy to hold talks in secret in exchange for some benefit without telling the people, he said.
He also clarified Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya's remark that a senior figure was clearing up this matter with Mr Hun Sen,
Mr Chavanont said that person was Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, who had already talked with the Cambodian leader during the Asean summit.
Mr Suthep said he explained to Mr Hun Sen that Thaksin had not been unfairly persecuted as claimed. In fact, the former prime minister was found to have broken the law and was sentenced to imprisonment in a proper judicial process.
Mr Suthep said he told Mr Hun Sen that Thaksin fled the country not because of the Sept 19 coup but to avoid the court's legal sentencing and a two year jail term.
"The post-coup government stayed for only one year and a new constitution was approved by the people in a public referendum.
''Thaksin and his men accepted the constitution, took part in the elections and their party was the winner and subsequently formed governments in which Samak Sundaravej and Somchai Wongsawat were the prime ministers.
''However, these two men were unseated because they had broken the law," Mr Suthep said.
On extradition, Mr Suthep said he told Mr Hun Sen said that although he and Thaksin were friends, Thailand would ask Cambodia to extradite Thaksin if he was in Cambodia, as allowed by the extradition treaty.
''It is up to Cambodia to decide whether or not it would do as requested. The matter might have to be taken to court in the end,'' he added.
Asked if Hun Sen wanted to know when there would be an election in Thailand, Mr Suthep said: "The Cambodian leader told me he does not want to interfere in Thai politics at all. He also accepted my request that the verbal exchanges between the leaders of the two countries should not lead to border tensions or a clash between soldiers."