Thursday, December 30, 2010

P. Thai slams captured MP Panich

Dec 30, 2010
Source: Bangkok Post

Democrat Party MP Panich Vikitsreth, one of the seven Thais held in Cambodia, should have known better than to have entered the disputed frontier area where he was captured, Puea Thai Party spokesman Prompong Nopparit said on Thursday.

"It is quite unusal for a man like Mr Panich, who was formerly an assistant to the foreign minister, to be arrested. He should know the law and the situation between Thailand and Cambodia regarding the disputed border," Mr Prompong said.

He said it was not normal that the seven Thais visited the disputed border area without advising the Cambodian authorities first. Their trip to the border area was inappropriate and he wondered if there was a hidden political agenda.

"As an MP, Mr Panich should be more careful because his action could affect Thailand, increase the tension between the two countries and put Thailand at a disadvantage in future negotiations. His action certainly lacks maturity.

"I personally believe Mr Panich had good intentions, but the government must clarify Mr Panich's action.

"After an explanation, I think the Cambodian government would release the seven detainees," Mr Prompong said.

He said the government can ask the opposition for help, because it also has concerns for the well-being of the seven Thais.

Mr Prompong said he was worried that a certain group of people would exploit the incident. He said this nationalistic group might worsen the Thai-Cambodian situation and cause trouble for people living along the border area..

Yellow-shirt activist Veera Somkwamkid, a co-leader of the People's Alliance for Democracy, is one of the seven Thais apprehended by the Cambodian soldiers.

The Cambodian military arrested MP Panich and his team on Wednesday afternoon, when they visited Sa Kaeo province to inspect the disputed border area.

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