Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Govt calls for Thais to free Cambodian

Govt calls for Thais to free Cambodian

Govt calls for Thais to free Cambodian

THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called on Thailand to immediately release a Cambodian man accused of committing an arson attack on a bank during violent protests in Bangkok last week.

Koy Kuong, the ministry’s spokesman, said Thai authorities arrested the man on Wednesday in the Thai capital while he was standing outside the beverage shop where he worked.

Koy Kuong said the man, a native of Battambang province who is married to a Thai woman and has lived in Bangkok for about five years, had no involvement with the antigovernment Red Shirts.

“We ask the Abhisit government to urgently release him,” he said, and added that the embassy in Bangkok was seeking a lawyer to represent the man.

“We cannot accept such accusations. I think the accusation is meant to make trouble with Cambodia.”

Tith Sothea, a spokesman for the Council of Ministers’ Press and Quick Reaction Unit, identified the man as San Mony Phet, 27, and said Thai police claimed to have confiscated a lighter, pieces of clothing and fuel after his arrest.

He denied reports, published by Thailand’s Krung Thep Thurakej Online on Friday, that Cambodians had taken part in the Red Shirt protests.

“No Cambodian people have joined the protests in Bangkok,” he said. “This information is completely exaggerated, which could cause diplomatic relations between the two nations to worsen.”

Australia’s ABC also noted the alleged involvement of a Briton and an unidentified “Asian national” in Bangkok arson attacks last week.

But Thani Thongphakdi, deputy spokesman of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that he had not heard reports of foreigners’ involvement in last week’s clashes, which left 86 dead and around 1,900 injured.

“I haven’t heard anything specifically,” he said. “Let’s wait until something’s clear.”

The Cambodian government has warned its citizens to avoid travel to Bangkok since the protests started in mid-February.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JAMES O’TOOLE

MOST VIEWED

  • Serious flooding across country

    The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding. In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition

  • Malaysian MP calls on his government to take stand on Cambodian elections

    A Malaysian parliamentarian raised concerns in his country on Wednesday about Cambodia’s July 29 national elections and urged his government to clarify its position on the subject, the Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) said on Thursday. Wong Chen, a member of the People’s

  • Troop moves ‘won’t worry people’

    Senior officials at the Ministry of Defence and National Police said on Tuesday that riot training provided to the country’s police forces were aimed at preventing unexpected demonstrations and strikes before and after the July 29 national elections. The troop mobilisation, they said, would not