Prime Minister Hun Sen claimed in a speech yesterday that the Thai government is plotting to assassinate fugitive former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra within the next six months, citing leaked documents from Bangkok.
The prime minister said Cambodia had obtained copies of the alleged plot before the opposition Puea Thai party this week publicized documents it claims were leaked from the Thai Foreign Affairs Ministry that contain plans to neutralize the former Thai premier as a political threat.
“Why have they planned to kill him…especially a murder plan to kill him in late 2009 or early 2010?” Mr Hun Sen asked in a speech at the opening of a chemical fertilizer plant in Kandal province.
Mr Hun Sen went on to suggest that the Thai government had also planned to kill him.
“If you try secretly to kill Hun Sen, it could maybe be successful, but it would not be easy,” the premier said.
He warned the Thai government, “Do not continue your dream. You should resolve to yourself not to care about Cambodia…. I gave the King this document to show and to know our neighbor leader’s behavior. How bad is this neighbor leader’s behavior?”
A similar document, distributed by Thailand’s opposition Puea Thai party this week and allegedly signed by Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya on Nov 16, focuses on the appointment of Mr Thaksin as the Cambodian premier’s economic adviser.
Mr Thaksin posted an English translation of the paper online on Wednesday. The document refers to Mr Thaksin as “The Main Threat,” but does not directly mention an assassination plot, recommending instead that the exiled leader be “eliminated.”
“It is necessary to deal with the root of the problem by (1) eliminating the Main Threat (2) Dividing and minimizing the level of cooperation between Police Lt Colonel Thaksin and Cambodian PM,” the document states.
That paper does not mention a plot against Mr Hun Sen, but does suggest Thai military action “if Police Lt Colonel Thaksin and Cambodian PM create any incidents which cause any loss of life and properties.”
According to a report on the website of Thai newspaper The Nation yesterday, the Thai Foreign Ministry has filed libel charges against the Puea Thai lawmaker who leaked Mr Kasit’s document and for claiming at a press conference that the Thai government was planning to kill Mr Thaksin.
During his speech yesterday, Mr Hun Sen also said that the Thai government had asked Vietnam to help negotiate an end to its conflict with Cambodia.
“Please, do not think that Cambodia does not have spies or investigators united for this cause. [Thailand] has asked Vietnam to negotiate with Cambodia…. They said that they needed a third party to negotiate with Cambodia, so they chose Vietnam,” Mr Hun Sen said, warning Thailand, “Do not be hopeful,” about Vietnam’s acquiescence.
Trinh Ba Cam, spokesman for the Vietnamese Embassy, said yesterday by telephone that he could not comment on that claim. “I don’t have any idea about this problem,” he said.
Thai government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn could not be reached for comment yesterday. On Wednesday, he said that Thai authorities were still investigating the source and authenticity of the leaked foreign ministry documents.