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Thai-Cambodia border situation calm : Army chief
Thai army affirmed Wednesday that there is no military movement along the border either by Thai or Cambodian side, Army commander in Chief Gen Anupong Paochinda said Wednesday.
The situation is still calm, he said.
However he said the military is closely monitoring the situation and avoiding cross-border confrontations following the high-profile visit of ex-Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to Phnom Penh on Tuesday.
Thaksin is appointed by Cambodia as an economic adviser to Cambodia premier Hun Sen and his government.
Thailand has protested the appointment on grounds that Thaksin is a fugitive, running away from a two-year jail term in Thailand for abuse of power and corruption.
The country recalled its ambassador and reviewed cooperation and agreement with Camobida.
Regarding Thaksin’s interview with the Times daily in London, Gen Anupong said the army will instruct all military personnel to not to redistribute or discuss the article.
Meanwhile Army spokesman Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the situation remains normal on the Cambodian border.
Col Sansern said the people of the two countries have crossed border to do their business as usual.
On Thursday, he said, there will be a friendly football match between Thai and Cambodian soldiers at Phoomsarol village in Kantharalak district of Si Sa Ket province.
Bangkok to review loans for Cambodia’s road projects
By Piyanart Srivalo
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Thursday ordered an review of two road construction projects with Cambodia which involved loans of more than Bt1.4 bn to Phnom Penh.
The review is a further move of his government to protest Cambodia’s appointment of convicted ex-Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra as economic adviser to Khmer PM Hun Sen and his government.
Deputy Finance Minister Pruetichai Damrongrat told reporters that the No 68 road will link Chong Chom checkpoint in Surin province to Cambodia.
Meanwhile Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said that the cabinet will not consider an financial assistance of Bt31 million to Cambodia in its meeting next week.
The proposal is put on hold as a measure of Thailand to protest Cambodia.
In a separate interview, Abhisit said he was considering further measures against Cambodia, but vowed that his government would not seal off checkpoints on the border and said that the rift with Phnom Pen would not lead to violence.
“I don’t want the situation going out of control,” he said.
PM calls security council meeting
* Published: 12/11/2009 at 11:23 AM
* Online news: Breakingnews
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva called an urgent meeting with the National Security Council (NSC) on Thursday morning.
Those attending the meeting included Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, Deputy Interior Minister Boonjong Wongtrairat, heads of the armed forces and the foreign permanent secretary.
They were expected to discuss Thai-Cambodian relations folowing Phnom Penh’s official refusal to extradite fugitive former leader Thaksin Shinawatra.
Thaksin, who as been appointed economic adviser to the Cambodian government, arrived in Phnom Penh on Tuesday and was due lecture economists and senior state officials there on Thursday morning. The lecture was titled “Cambodia and the World after the Financial Crisis”.
Cambodia and Thailand expel staff
Thailand and Cambodia have each expelled a top diplomat from the other country amid a row over ex-Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra.
Cambodia ordered the first secretary of the Thai Embassy to leave Phnom Penh, and Thailand responded in kind.
The move follows the appointment of Mr Thaksin as an economics adviser to the Cambodian government.
In a speech in Cambodia earlier, Mr Thaksin accused Thailand’s leaders of “false patriotism”.
Cambodia’s foreign affairs ministry spokesman, Koy Kuong, said Phnom Penh expelled the Thai diplomat first and Thailand “responded by asking our first secretary to leave their country within the next 48 hours”.
“The Thai diplomat has executed work in contradiction to his position,” he told the AFP news agency but gave no further details.
Mr Thaksin was ousted in a military coup in 2006 and has been living in exile ever since.
He has been sentenced in his absence to a two-year jail term in Thailand in a conflict of interest case.
But Cambodia has refused an extradition request from Bangkok, saying the charges against him are politically motivated.
At a lecture to business and government figures in Cambodia earlier on Thursday, Mr Thaksin said that what was good for Cambodia was also good for Thailand.
“Of course not all my compatriots see it that way right now,” he said.
“I do not believe those who do not share our vision right now are myopic.
“Their domestic political compulsions force them to false patriotism,” he said, without elaborating.
Thailand has already withdrawn its ambassador from Phnom Penh in protest at Cambodia’s protection of Mr Thaksin.
The Thai cabinet also cancelled a memorandum of understanding on joint oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Thailand.
Relations between Thailand and Cambodia are already strained.
In recent months there has been a series of disputes centred around the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple complex near the border between the two countries.