Hun Sen Backs New Thai Military Government

Although Cambodia supports Thailand’s new military government, Cambodia is not Thailand and those who say they want a coup here will not succeed, Prime Min­ister Hun Sen said Thursday.

Speaking in Pursat province, Hun Sen also said the new Thai administration has written to him stating that the coup will not affect the relationship between the two countries. “People who said they wanted to have a coup like in Bang­kok in Phnom Penh please be careful with this issue,” he said in a speech broad­cast on Apsara radio, before warning that he enjoys military support across the country.

Hun Sen said Cambodia supports the new Thai government head­ed by interim Prime Minister Su­rayud Chulanont, who was in­stalled Sun­day by Thailand’s military council.

“I have blessed the new prime minister,” Hun Sen said. “It was just a reshuffle in Thailand but there was no effect to the relationship between Cambodia and Thailand.”

He also said that officials in the Cambodian provinces bordering Thailand should continue to cooperate with the Thai administration, military and people.

Sam Rainsy, leader of SRP, said he supported Hun Sen’s support of Thailand’s new leader. “The coup is their own issue,” he said of Thai­land. “Thaksin Shinawatra had a lot of problems.”

Hun Sen also warned Funcinpec lawmakers not to vote against a re­shuffle of 10 senior royalist officials—nine secretaries of state and Senior Minister Serei Kosal—which Hun Sen called for last month.

The National Assembly vote is scheduled for Monday, and Hun Sen said if Funcinpec does not vote with the ruling CPP, the CPP would cease supporting Funcinpec ap­point­­ments to the government.

“If you have the right not to vote with us, we also have the right not to vote for you,” he said.

Funcinpec President Prince Noro­­dom Ranariddh’s spokesman Chea Chanboribo declined comment on Hun Sen’s demand, other than to say that Funcinpec has “sovereignty and dignity.”


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