Pattaya Daily News

21 March 2009 :: 01:03:23 am 27956

Foreign Minister Kasit Denies Opposition’s Allegations

BANGKOK, Mar 20 - Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya refuted all allegations made by Thailand's Opposition parties with which they started their second day of heated censure debate, especially his involvement in the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) movement.
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Mr. Kasit admitted he had joined the PAD to fight against the then Thaksin regime following massive corruption by the ex-premier’s government.

“I’m not ashamed of taking part in the open to fight against Thaksin’s attempt to return to power,” Mr. Kasit said.

“I might have been Thaksin’s acquaintance and was invited to be his advisor when I was an ambassador. I thought I would be able to work with him but it was just a dream, as I heard about his corrupted actions. That’s why I joined many organizations, including the PAD, to fight against him.”

Jatuporn Prompan, from the opposition Puea Thai Party, opened the Friday debate by detailing the foreign minister’s role in supporting the Pedople’s Alliance (PAD) action in seizing the airport, an action which caused Thailand a tremendous loss in revenue, tarnished Thailand?s reputation and disrupted the travel plans of Thai Muslim faithful who were travelling to Mecca for pilgrimage.

Also, Opposition Puea Thai MP Visaradee Techathirawat from Chiang Rai criticized Mr. Kasit?s qualifications, saying his belligerent personality made him unfit for the role of representing the country. She claimed he was behaving improperly and physically assaulted Thai students while he served as a Thai diplomat in Russia.

Puea Thai Chachoengsao MP Thitima Chaisang on Friday morning showed a video clip of Mr. Kasit joining a PAD rally, lambasting Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, and showing him speaking to foreign journalists describing the PAD’s airport closure as a fun move with good music.

Mr. Kasit explained that Hun Sen was threatened to give Thailand an ultimatum to redeploy troops from the disputed area near the Pra Viharn temple; however, he said that to protect Thailand’s sovereignty. But later he learned that the Cambodian leader made such comment because he was misinformed about the situation.

“My verbal attack was made to protect Thailand’s benefits,” Mr.Kasit said, “but it was a misunderstanding.”

Regarding the Phra Viharn Temple issue raised by the Opposition, which accuses the foreign minister of involvement with Cambodia’s recent “encroachment into territory claimed by Thailand near Khao Pra Viharn’s surrounding areas, Mr. Kasit denies such allegations, saying negotiations have continued to progress with Cambodian leader Hun Sen and Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Num Hong’s involvement.

“The negotiations take time. It is not an easy task,” said Mr. Kasit.

“We’ll employ peaceful means. We can’t rush this. There’s no conflict of interests and we won’t lose our sovereignty. Our military force is secure,” added Mr. Kasit.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva also spoke in support of Mr. Kasit?s response in regard to the disputed ancient temple of Phra Viharn (Preah Vihear in the Khmer language) and its vicinity, saying it would take time for negotiations and reiterated his government is determined to work with transparency. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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