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Pattaya Daily News

27 November 2009 :: 21:11:30 pm 1364

Spy Case May be Raised at Border Discussions

PATTAYA, Nov 27 (TNA) - The issue of the Thai engineer detained in Cambodia and the temporary closure of Koh Kong waters may be discussed at the Thai-Cambodian General Border Committee (GBC) meeting opening Friday, according to Thai defence ministry spokesman Col Thanathip Sawangsaeng.
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Thailand is hosting the border panel meeting at Pattaya, southeast of Bangkok November 27-28. GBC is a bilateral mechanism which is co-chaired by the Thai and Cambodia Ministers of Defence, or their representatives, and meets on a regular basis.

Thailand is represented by Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan while Cambodian Defence Minister Tia Bahn is leading the Cambodian representatives.

Col Thanathip said the two-day meeting starting Friday will cover five issues including the number of military personnel that are stationed at the border, trade at border checkpoints, surveying and the demarcation of land boundaries and other bilateral cooperation.

However, it is expected that the issues related to the Thai engineer detained in Cambodia on spy charges and the temporary closure of Cambodian Koh Kong province territorial waters may be raised at the meeting.

Cambodia Air Traffic Services (CATS) employee Siwarak Chutipong, 31, was arrested on spying charges on November 12, being accused of giving fugitive ousted Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s flight schedule to the first secretary of the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh.

His mother, Simarak na Nakon Panom and Pongsuree Chutipong, his younger brother, flew to Phnom Penh early Friday to visit him after Cambodia on Wednesday granted permission for the visit Friday afternoon.

Regarding the Koh Kong issue, the government spokesman said the Thai trawlers cannot enter Cambodian waters because their licences had expired. He said “it will take time to renew the licences” as a new governor of Cambodia’s Koh Kong has taken office, not because of the border conflict. He said it had nothing to do with the recent diplomatic complications of the two kingdoms.

Opposition Puea Thai Party chairman Gen. Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, a former Thai premier, earlier said that about one thousand Thai trawlers and other fishing boats were barred from entering Cambodian territorial waters.

Col Thanathip said discussion of the two added issues was expected to ease tensions by building on the positive ties between the two countries’ armed forces.

Military relations between the two countries remain intact despite the diplomatic row between Bangkok and Phnom Penh, he said.

The diplomatic falling out between the Thai and Cambodian governments flared up after the Cambodian government appointed Mr Thaksin as its economic adviser. The two kingdoms recalled their respective ambassadors in retaliatory actions.

The Cambodian government also invited Mr Thaksin to Phnom Penh to lecture over 300 Cambodian businessmen and economists as his first assignment, at the same time rejecting Thailand’s request to extradite the fugitive former premier.

As the diplomatic row continues, Mr Thaksin’s interview with Britain’s Timesonline website continued to rankle Thais.

In the article, Mr Thaksin commented about the Thai monarch and his successor, with remarks considered offensive to the monarchy. The ousted premier, however, reportedly defended himself by saying his interview was ‘distorted’ by the reporter.

Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) board decided to investigate the arm of Britain’s Times of London as a special case due to its exclusive interview with Mr Thaksin deemed offensive to the monarch. (TNA)

Reporter : Methawee   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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