Friday, November 27, 2009

Peaceful solution to row with Cambodia sought

Source: gulf-times

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has said that he will seek peaceful means of resolving the lingering row between his country and Cambodia.

The row was worsened by the appointment of former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra as the Cambodia’s economic adviser.

Cambodia has rejected Thailand’s request to extradite Shinawatra, deepening the rift between the two countries.

Billionaire Thaksin, who was ousted in a bloodless coup in 2006 and is living abroad to avoid a prison term for corruption, arrived in Cambodia earlier this month and received a warm welcome from Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“Although the integrity of our (judicial) system has been violated by Cambodia’s refusal, we are still committed to resolve the matter peacefully, because it is a bilateral issue.

“So, if the Cambodian authorities review their actions we will get back on track,” Vejjajiva told a news conference in Doha.

The Thai prime minister is on an official visit to Qatar.

He explained that judging by the statement that was issued by the Cambodian government recently, there has been a lot of misinformation on the matter.

“We will not hasten into any decision.

“According to the extradition treaties, there is a procedure to follow, usually the government has some discretion, but we will respect the court system,” he noted.

However, Vejjajiva hinted that the Thai government has expressed its displeasure through diplomatic channels to the Cambodian authorities.

He added that a legal action has been taken against the country.

“We are seeking extradition of the former PM and through diplomatic means, we are suing the Cambodian authorities for violation of the integrity of our system,” Vejjajiva said. “But we are still determined to resolve the issue peacefully.”

The Thai premier also mentioned that measures have been instituted to secure the lives of the people who are living in the border area between the two countries.

He said that despite the deepening of the row, he has avoided taking the matter to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), believing that the countries will solve it amicably.

On the insurgency in the southern provinces of the country, Vejjajiva said that the problems are being managed internally.

The prime minister added that the government has adopted a change in policy to further address the problem.
“We are working with the parliament to put in place a number of codes, decrees and laws, especially martial laws and much milder laws such as security and preventive laws to further contain the problems and we are making progress,” Vejjajiva added.

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