via CAAI News Media
NAM NEWS NETWORK Feb 27th, 2010
BANGKOK, Feb. 27 (NNN-TNA) — Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban on Friday downplayed concerns over the planned weekend visit of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to Cambodian troops near the Thai border, saying security measures along the border have been well-prepared.
Mr Suthep, who oversees national security, commented following news reports of Cambodian English-language newspaper the Phnom Penh Post that Mr Hun Sen will visit his troops near the Thai border in Battambang province on Saturday, while soldiers in Kampong Chhnang province will also conduct military exercises and will test launch BM-21 rockets on March 5.
The deputy Thai premier said it is normal for Mr Hun Sen to travel wherever he wants, but the Thai government has already put security measures in place along the Thai-Cambodian border. He suggested there was no need for anything in addition.
“I don’t believe that the arms test will threaten Thailand’s security,” Mr Suthep said. “The Thai army stands ready to protect our national sovereignty.”
Mr Hun Sen was earlier quoted as telling a Phnom Penh newspaper that the rocket tests are aimed to strengthen the abilities of the country’s military. Though the rockets are capable of travelling 40 km., troops would normally fire them at less than half the distance.
?We are not flexing our muscles ? this is work to strengthen the abilities of the military in national defence,? Mr Hun Sen said.
The Cambodian leader, who earlier described Mr Thaksin as his true friend, appointing him adviser to the Cambodian government, however dismissed accusations that his trip is linked to Thailand’s court verdict on the Bt76 billion (US$ 2.3 billion) frozen assets of his friend on Friday, saying this weekend’s planned visit is a “normal” visit to the soldiers–do not try to link the problems in Bangkok on February 26 to my visit on February 27.?
Early this month, the Cambodian premier visited his troops stationed near the Thai border and the ancient Preah Vihear temple, claiming that the visit is aimed at boosting the spirit of the Cambodian troops.
But he was denied entry by Thai authorities to the Ta Muen Thom ruins which located in Thailand’s Surin province for safety concerns as supporters of anti-Thaksin movement People’s Alliance for Democracy were rallying not far from the renowned ruins. — NNN-TNA