Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prayut indicates no entry into Thailand for CNRP’s Rainsy

Prayut indicates no entry into Thailand for CNRP’s Rainsy

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha indicated that he would not interfere in Cambodia’s internal affairs by allowing Sam Rainsy to enter Cambodia through Thailand. Hong Menea

Prayut indicates no entry into Thailand for CNRP’s Rainsy

Cambodian government officials on Wednesday welcomed the position of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha after he indicated that Sam Rainsy would not be allowed to return to Cambodia through Thailand.

“According to our commitment to Asean, we will not interfere in each other’s internal affairs, and we will not allow any anti-government person to use Thailand for activism,” Prayut said at a press conference, the Bangkok Post reported on Wednesday.

The Thai prime minister was referring to Thailand’s obligations under Asean to Cambodia, a fellow member of the 10-member regional bloc.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Koy Kuong said Cambodian and Thai cooperation meant the countries would not allow each other’s territory to be used by any group to act against the interests of the other or any other nation.

“This principle means that Sam Rainsy’s request to Thailand’s Prime Minister for passage to Cambodia will not be possible,” Kuong said.

Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) sent a letter to the Thai prime minister last Thursday requesting to be allowed to pass through Thailand to enter Cambodia through the Poipet International Border Checkpoint.

“You may be aware that I plan to return to Cambodia on November 9, our national Independence Day. I have no choice but to do so in the face of the treatment that many of my party’s supporters have endured.

“My request for safe passage through Thailand is based on my responsibility to my supporters, who have suffered greatly, and to all Cambodians who deserve a democratic debate over the future of their society,” he wrote.

Rainsy said he would land at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport on Friday on Thai Airways Flight TG931. He would then continue to Aranyaprathet on the border and into Cambodia through Poipet.

“As the public have heard, there was a woman who tried to enter Cambodia through Thailand, but she was turned away,” Kuong said, referring to CNRP vice-president Mu Sochua being turned away from Thailand on October 20.

“Also, along the border with Thailand there are pictures of an illegal group displayed. Thailand has said it will cooperate to arrest them.

Ministry of Interior spokesperson Kheiu Sopheak also welcomed Prayut’s commitment not to allow Rainsy to pass through Thailand.

“We really appreciate the understanding from the Thai government. The Royal Thai Government understands the real situation in Cambodia.

“They know that [Rainsy] won’t bring peace but comes to topple the [Cambodian] government,” Sopheak said, adding that he hoped Thailand would cooperate in preventing all coup attempts.

Ministry of Justice spokesperson Chin Malin also welcomed Thailand’s stance. He said the decision represented the independence of a country based on the cooperation between Thailand and other Asean member states.

It also reflected the Asean Charter that mandates non-interference into the internal affairs of the other nations, and forbids the use of the territory of other member states for anti-government activity.

Rainsy, who did not respond to an enquiry from The Post via email on Wednesday, posted a picture of his plane ticket on his Facebook page.

Sok Touch, the president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said Prayut respected Cambodia because the Kingdom did not allow any party from Thailand to be based in the Kingdom.

He said a request from the Cambodian government meant much more than one from Rainsy.

“I believe that Asean members will not interfere in another member’s internal affairs. If there was interference, it would go against the Asean Charter,” Touch said.

Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said: “It is in the best interests of Thailand. Sam Rainsy’s return via its territory could affect its interests in Cambodia and its economy, which employs some two million Cambodian workers.”

Watch video:

MOST VIEWED

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a

  • Textile industry minimum wage now $200

    The official minimum wage for workers in textile-related sectors including garment, footwear, and travel goods for 2023 was pegged at $198, with Prime Minister Hun Sen stepping in to add $2 to the total, making it $200 per month. The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training made the announcement