News / Asia

Thailand Working to Free Citizens Detained After Illegally Entering Cambodia

Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, right, arrives for a bilateral meeting with Cambodian counterpart at Foreign Ministry in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 30 Dec 2010
Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, right, arrives for a bilateral meeting with Cambodian counterpart at Foreign Ministry in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 30 Dec 2010
TEXT SIZE - +
Ron Corben

The Thai government is stepping up efforts to obtain the release of seven Thais who crossed into Cambodia illegally. Thailand's prime minister denies reports he sent the seven to the disputed border area.

Government spokesman Panitan Wattanaygorn says officials are doing all they can to have the seven Thais returned home.

"We are determined to help these Thai. This is our first priority. We would like to have them returned, of course," Wattanaygorn said. "We do respect the Cambodian process and sovereignty and the law and the justice process. We hope that if the case is not moving forward [to the courts] then these people could be released."

Cambodian troops detained the group on December 29. They were led by Panich Vikitsreth, a parliament member who sits on a government committee that handles border issues with Cambodia.

Panitan dismissed media reports that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva had ordered Panich to the border. Panitan says the prime minister was only informed after the fact that Panich was travelling close to the border area.

He says the foreign ministry is still seeking full information about the location where the group was arrested, which was along the border in Sa Kaeo province, 245 kilometers east of Bangkok.

In a video seen on the Internet, Panich is seen walking toward the Cambodian border.

Speaking on a mobile phone, he says he crossed into Cambodian territory and to inform the prime minister's secretary, Somkiat Krongwatanasuk.

Panich calls on his assistant to inform Abhisit they are already inside Cambodia and to call Somkiat if are any problems arise. He says they have crossed the border and trying to inspect a border marker that is in Thai territory, but he says is an area now occupied by Cambodian soldiers.

The group then walked into a nearby village, which the members claim formerly belonged to Thailand, and apparently were detained by Cambodian troops there.

A nationalist group planned a protest at the border, but the Thai army says it will prevent any gatherings in the area. The Sa Kaeo governor also warned the protesters could create problems for local people.

The nationalists claim the seven were detained in Thailand. They accuse Cambodia, also known as Kampuchea, of land encroachment. Werasak Samrit is a leader of the nationalist group, and spoke at a rally Monday in Bangkok.

"Kampuchea say Thai people entered her territory, but actually it is in Thai territory, actually it [is] Thai territory," Werasak Samrit said. "We are waiting for the government to solve this problem. I would like to ask the [Cambodian] government to release our Thai people, no condition because that [is] the Thai area, but the government not accept that."

Relations between Thailand and Cambodia had been improving in recent months, after two years of tension. Relations began to deteriorate in 2008 over a dispute involving land around a 900-year-old Hindu temple on the border. They worsened last year over visits to Cambodia by Thailand's fugitive former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, who is wanted at home on corruption charges.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid