Cambodian Blamed for Fatal Shooting of Thai Protest Leader

Thailand’s anti-government protest leader, Suthep Thaugsuban, has claimed that a gunman who shot a colleague in Bangkok on Sunday might have been Cambodian.

On Sunday, a gunman shot dead Sutin Tharatin, one of the main leaders of the protests against Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, while he delivered a speech from the back of a truck in Bangkok.

Shortly after the fatal shooting, People’s Democratic Reform Committee leader Mr. Suthep, said in a speech that he believes the gunman to be Cambodian, and that Cambodia had violated Thai sovereignty.

“I would like to take this opportunity to tell the [Thai] military commander…to consider if there was a gunman who came from Cambodia, which would mean that this is a violation of Thai sovereignty,” Mr. Suthep said in his speech.

The Bangkok Post reported Monday that Mr. Suthep “wondered if the shooting was the work of Cambodia’s special warfare unit, which he believes has been brought into Thailand by senior police figures to attack the protesters.”

Cambodia’s Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said Monday that he did not know of the existence of a special warfare unit, and said that Cambodia was not involved in Thai politics.

“They have a problem with their own administration and try to put the blame on us…same with Preah Vihear, where they blame us as well,” Mr. Siphan said, referring to the temple on the Thai-Cambodian border, which the International Court of Justice ruled to be Cambodian in 1962.

Although Prime Minister Hun Sen has close ties to Thaksin Shinawatra, who is the elder brother of Prime Minister Yingluck, Cambodia has cooperated with every elected Thai government and maintained a friendly relationship as neighbors, Mr. Siphan said.

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