Sunday, October 25, 2009
(Posted by CAAI News Media)
Bangkok, Oct 24 : A war of words between Southeast Asian neighbours Thailand and Cambodia over coup-ousted Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra, has marred the ASEAN Summit taking place at Hua Hin near here.
Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who is current chair of the 10-nation grouping, has questioned his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen's defence of Mr Thaksin, who was ousted in a bloodless coup in September 2006.
''What is the purpose of Prime Minister Hun Sen coming to Thailand? And what has he said that was in line with the aim of the meeting?'' Mr Abhisit told a press conference.
Mr Abhisit was responding to Mr Hun Sen's reported remarks to the press on his arrival in Hua Hin that his country was ready to offer refuge to Mr Thaksin, who is living abroad in self-imposed exile to avoid prosecution in Thailand on corruption charges.
Mr Hun Sen added that the former Thai Prime Minister could become his economic advisor and insisted that Phnom Penh would not be legally obliged to extradite Mr Thaksin on Bangkok's request.
Mr Hun Sen said Mr Thaksin was a political victim of the 2006 military takeover in Bangkok and compared him to Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Thai Prime Minister said the ASEAN Summit was aimed at building a stronger Southeast Asian community and dismissed his Cambodian counterpart's remarks.
''(ASEAN) has no time to pay attention to a person who wants to destroy ASEAN unity. And I hope Prime Minister Hun Sen will receive the right information and change his mind on the matter,'' Mr Abhisit said.