Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Red Shirt training reported

Red Shirt training reported

Red Shirt training reported

THAI security forces have reportedly accused the Cambodian military of giving weapons training to antigovernment Red Shirts who planned to assassinate Thai premier Abhisit Vejjajiva.

The reports were based on a press conference given yesterday by Payao Thongsen of Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation, who headed a probe of the allegations.

“Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation on Monday said investigation found that 39 Thai men have been trained for arms use in Cambodia for a mission to assassinate this country’s key public figures including Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva,” Thailand’s MCOT state news agency said.

“Payao elaborated that the ... three-week training was held in a Cambodian army camp, and they were trained by Cambodian soldiers.”

Eleven of the 39 men were reportedly arrested earlier this month in Thailand’s Chiang Mai province; they are under witness protection “in exchange for useful information which could lead to an arrest of other accomplices”, MCOT said. The Bangkok Post reported last week, citing a Department of Special Investigation report, that the men received their training in a jungle area roughly 200 kilometres from Siem Reap town.

Thailand’s The Nation newspaper, citing Payao, said the DSI planned to ask the Thai foreign ministry to “protest against Cambodia’s alleged
interference in Thailand’s national security”.

MCOT said only that the DSI “will seek coordination from the ministry of foreign affairs to contact Cambodian authorities on the case”.

Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs deputy spokesman Thani Thongphakdi said last night that his ministry had yet to receive any request from the DSI.

“We heard of the press report that came out, but we’ll have to check and follow up this with the DSI,” Thani said.

“We’re not quite sure how the news report was reported, whether it was accurate or not, so we’ll check with the source of the information.”

Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong called the accusations “completely untrue”. “Cambodia totally rejects these allegations,” he said, and added that the Kingdom was in no position to provide material or financial support to the Red Shirt movement.

“Cambodia doesn’t even have enough money to develop the country and reduce the poverty of our people, so how can we contribute money to the Red Shirts?” he said.

The inflammatory reports follow news that Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith and a delegation of Cambodian journalists will meet media and government officials in Thailand next week in an effort to promote greater communication between the two countries before the publication of information that may cause “confusion”.

In July, Kingdom authorities apprehended two Thai nationals believed to be Red Shirt supporters and suspected of involvement in a bomb attack on the headquarters of a party in Abhisit’s ruling coalition. Cambodian officials handed the suspects over to Thailand without a formal extradition request from Bangkok.

“This is to show the willingness of the government in fighting terrorism,” Koy Kuong said at the time.

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the

  • Royal Group's Koh Rong luxury hotel officially opens

    The Royal Sands Koh Rong hotel on Monday marked its official launch as the first luxury resort on Cambodia’s most visited island. Prime Minister Hun Sen presided over the inauguration of the hotel, which has been open since December, and features rooms priced at