via CAAI News Media
Sun, Feb 07, 2010
The Nation/Asia News Network
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen's tour yesterday morning of Preah Vihear Temple - the subject of conflicting territorial claims with Thailand - went off without any incidents, but doubts remained as to his intentions in making the visit.
Arriving at 10am in fatigues, Hen Sen was met by Second Army Area chief Lt-General Veerawit Kajornrith and Si Sa Ket Governor Rapee Pongbupakit. Thai Ambassador to Cambodia Prasart Prasartvinichai was also present.
Earlier at 9am, there were some tense moments at Kaewsikhakirisawaria Temple in the disputed area, but no gunfire was exchanged.
A group of Thais led by rural activist Veeraphon Sopha said they would defend the sovereignity of the four border provinces of Buri Ram, Si Sa Ket, Surin and Sa Kaew.
They vowed to start up villages along the border to prevent Cambodians from occupying Thai soil.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said if the Cambodian premier enters Thai territory, then there will be people ready to receive him.
The situation remained normal, but Hun Sen has been making comments about Thai politics as former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra makes political moves, he said.
Noppadon Pattama, a former foreign minister and Thaksin's legal aide, criticised the Democrat Party and the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) for spreading a "lie" about Thaksin obtaining Cambodian citizenship.
Thaksin travels on Montenegro and Nicaraguan passports but is not a citizen of the two countries, he said.
Cambodia's Rasmi Kampuchia reported on Friday that Thailand is entering a state of anarchy with the red shirts - Thaksin sympathisers - ready to overthrow the government. The paper blamed the PAD for distracting public attention with the border dispute.
Recruitment for Thaksin's People's Army ended in Bangkok but more enlistment opportunities will be held upcountry, said Army specialist Maj-General Khattiya "Seh Daeng" Sawasdipol.
The formation of the controversial armed offshoot of the red shirt movement was aimed at ensuring protection for demonstrators during the upcoming bid to topple the government, he said.
The reports of General Panlop Pinmanee resigning from the red-shirt movement were unfounded, he said.
"It was a misunderstanding on the part of red-shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan. But I have discussed the matter with [red-shirt leaders] Veera Musigapong and Natthawut Saikua and the misunderstanding will be cleared."
Jatuporn said he would call both Khattiya and Panlop tomorrow to arrange a meeting to sort out the differences.
He said he alone couldn't approve the idea of a people's army as the Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship (DAAD) is an organisation with a committee making decisions.
"We must discuss the matter because we do not want to lose before engaging in a battle," he said.
Panlop should have discussed the matter with DAAD before leaking it to the media, he said.
Abhisit said he has no problem with Panlop leaving the red-shirt movement or the setting up of a people's army as long as it's not illegal.