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Hun Sen: No Thai Shadow Government in Cambodia

FILE - Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen at Koh Pich island in Phnom Penh
FILE - Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen at Koh Pich island in Phnom Penh
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Tuesday he will not allow ousted Thai leaders to form a government in exile in his country.

The military last week took over control of Thailand from members of the Pheu Thai Party, which is led by supporters of Thaksin Shinawtra, who was ousted in a 2006 coup. His sister, Yingluck Shinawtra, was ousted just weeks before the current coup.

In a public speech Tuesday, Hun Sen said rumors of Thais forming a shadow government in Cambodia were untrue and dangerous.

“Cambodia is not a place for any country or for any group…to set up an exile government,” he said. “This kind of thinking will lead Thaksin and Yingluck and the Pheu Thai Party to danger.”

Meanwhile, officials in Phnom Penh said Thailand has tightened security along 800 kilometers of shared border with Cambodia.

But Cambodian Defense Minister Tea Banh said in an interview with VOA that there has been no trouble, and the move was routine for a situation such as this.

“This is their internal issue. They are solving their internal problems. Nothing is coming up. They just tighten a little bit to check and scrutinize the movement of people crossing the borders. It’s just normal,” he said. He added that, “having the problem like this [in Thailand)], we also pay precaution which it is normal,” said Tea Banh.

Independent political analyst Lao Mong Hay said the position was the correct one.

“It’s right, and if we help any parties the problem can spillover into Cambodia without it knowing and Cambodia cannot control it,” said Lao Mong Hay.

He added that according to Cambodia’s constitution and the treaties that established ASEAN, each country must respect the internal affairs on the others.

(This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Khmer service.)