Gov’t Seeks Thailand’s Help Controlling Freedom Fighters

The Cambodian government plans to send a list of suspected members of the Cambodian Freedom Fighters to the Thai government to ensure that al-leged rebels do not enter Cam-bodia through Thailand, a government spokesman said Thurs-day.

“We are not asking the Thais to arrest them, but we want help to stop them from coming to Cambodia,” Khieu Kanharith said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong said Thai Foreign Minister Surin Pitsuwan assured him the Thai government would cooperate in the probe of into the CFF, the anti-communist group blamed for the Nov 24 attack that left as many as eight dead.

David Sao, a spokesman for CFF leader Chhun Yasith, said the CFF has three offices in Thailand, including one in Bangkok. He also said Chhun Yasith has been staying in Thailand since the assault on government offices.

CFF is working with Amnesty International and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to find ways to protect CFF members in Thailand, Sao said.

Chhun Yasith and three other Cambodian-Americans have been charged with acts of terrorism and membership in an illegal armed force. Only one, Richard Kiri Kim, the self-confessed leader of the attack, is in Cam-bodian custody.

Meanwhile, one CFF member who signed a statement condemning Chhun Yasith confirmed in a phone interview Thursday that he co-wrote the release.

Maly Hay, CFF treasurer, said he helped write the statement because he wanted everyone to know that Chhun Yasith organized the attack on his own, without approval of the CFF board of directors.

“We were very surprised when we heard about the fighting and very sad to hear that there was violence in Cambodia,” he said.

He also denied accusations by Sao that he is working for the ruling CPP.

Sao said Maly Hay and the others who signed that statement betrayed the CFF and wanted to spread “childish gossip” about Chhun Yasith because they are internal enemies.

 

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