Published: October 21, 2009
Filed at 11:53 a.m. ET
PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has offered to host his “eternal friend,” fugitive former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra, at any time, state television reported on Wednesday.
Hun Sen conveyed his message to Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, a Thai political heavyweight and close Thaksin aide, in comments likely to rile a Thai government anxious to minimise the billionaire’s influence from exile.
State-run TVK said Hun Sen described Thaksin, ousted in a 2006 coup, as an “eternal friend” and said he had a residence in Cambodia waiting for him.
“Thaksin is a political victim and I take pity on him,” Hun Sen told reporters after meeting Chavalit, a key member of the pro-Thaksin Puea Thai party, in Phnom Penh on Wednesday.
Hun Sen pledged his support for Puea Thai, Thailand’s main opposition and the latest incarnation of Thaksin’s disbanded mass Thai Rak Thai party.
His comments came on the eve of a summit of Asian leaders in Hua Hin, Thailand, where Hun Sen is due to meet his Thai counterpart Abhisit Vejjajiva, whose fragile government is battling to survive amid mass protests by Thaksin’s supporters.
Hun Sen caused a stir this month when he ordered troops to shoot any Thai crossing illegally into Cambodia, as nationalist tensions mounted over an 11th century temple the two countries have fought over for decades.
Hun Sen previously threatened to boycott the Hua Hin meeting over the temple row, but has confirmed he will attend, while missing Friday’s opening ceremony.
infantry brigades had been activated and deployed as follow: (Map 5)
1st Inf. Brigate: headquartered in Phnom Penh and constituting
the general reserve.
2nd Inf. Brigate: based in Kompong Cham and the main force
unit of the 1st MR.
The Khmer Republic at War and
The Final Collapse
Lieutenant General, FANK
Chief of general Staff, Khmer Armed Forces
and last Chief of State of the Khmer Republic
Department of the Army
Office of Chief of Military History
12th and Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20314
20 November 1978