No Information on Other ‘Red Shirts’ in Country, Gov’t Says

Government officials said yesterday they had not yet received information from Thailand regarding the names of wanted anti-Thai government “red shirt” activists possibly using Cambodia as a hide out.

Despite the high-profile arrest and deportation of two Thai bombing suspects who admitted being members of the red shirt movement earlier this week, Foreign Affairs spokes­man Koy Kuong said yesterday that Thailand had not provided a list of other wanted criminals.

“No, they have not provided us with information [about other criminals] so far,” Mr Kuong said.

Thai news reports have claimed that several high-profile red shirt movement members escaped to Cambodia to regroup after the Thai government broke up their months-long protest that turned Bangkok into a battleground in May.

The government has actively denied the reports, including those that claimed the now-deported Thai bomb suspects Kobchai Boonblod and Varasareeya Boonsom had crossed into Cambodia.

But the government later admitted that the same news reports, initially rejected as false, had been used to identify and arrest Mr Kobchai and Ms Varasareeya in Siem Reap City last Saturday.

Sao Bunrith, chief of police at the Poipet international border crossing, said he had never been provided with a list of wanted Thai red shirt activists.

“I have never been contacted by Thai officials about wanted Thai protesters,” he said.

Mr Kuong said yesterday that Cambodia would actively pursue “terrorists,” regardless of who they were politically aligned with.

“We don’t care about whether they are red shirts, yellow shirts or blue shirts,” he said. “We will just continue to implement our policy against terrorism.”

Officials at the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh and the Thai Mini­stry of Foreign Affairs could not be reached yesterday.

Lieutenant General Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said yesterday that the government would act as soon as it received information that terrorists were inside Cambodia.

“I hope there are no more [terrorists in Cambodia],” Lt Gen Sopheak said, adding the government had made it clear that Cambodia was not a “safe haven” for criminals.

  (Additional reporting by Phorn Bopha)

 

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