Thai Foreign Affairs Ministry Denies Incendiary Blog Rumor

The Thai Foreign Affairs Min-istry issued a statement denying rumors on the Cambodian blogosphere that threatened to further inflame relations between the two countries.

Blogs, forums and YouTube have echoed for at least the past 10 days a rumor that while egging on anti-government crowds that were blockading Bangkok’s international airport in November, now-Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya proclaimed he would like to wash his feet in the blood of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“Regarding reports by some media and certain Web sites in the Kingdom of Cambodia about an alleged statement made by Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya prior to his appointment, which reportedly involves the blood of the Cambo-dian leader in an inappropriate way, the Minister of Foreign Affairs categorically denied having made such a statement,” read the Tuesday statement.

There is no independent media verification of the rumor and no evidence that Kasit ever said such a thing, the Thai statement went on to say, adding that the rumor had not caused a problem between the two governments.

Cambodian Foreign Affairs Min-istry spokesman Koy Kuong said he’d seen the Thai government statement but he did not know more about the rumor.

As far back as it can be traced online, the rumor comes from the blog of Pang Sokheoun, former president of the Students’ Move-ment for Democracy and secretary-general of the SRP in Sweden. He quoted, as his only source, a supposed comment in a story on the Bangkok Post’s Web site that could not be found Thursday.

The strongly worded post by Pang Sokheoun against Thailand asserted that Kasit “doesn’t deserve to put his feet on Cambodia.”

The Thai foreign minister is scheduled to arrive in Phnom Penh on Sunday for bilateral talks on the ongoing border dispute.

Pang Sokheoun did not immediately reply to an e-mail seeking comment.

SRP lawmaker Mu Sochua confirmed his position in SRP-Sweden and declined to comment further.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan, who speaks for the government on issues surrounding the border dispute, said he had not heard of the rumor.


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