Thai Response to Cruise Case Inappropriate, Ministry Says

The Foreign Affairs Ministry on Friday expressed extreme dismay at Thai Ambassador to Cambodia Viraphand Vacharathit’s written response to allegations that authorities in Thailand refused entry to 242 Cambodian passengers aboard a cruise ship in December.   

On March 8, Viraphand wrote to Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Nam-

hong in response to demands that Thailand explain and investigate al-

legations that the Cambodian passengers on the Jupiter Cruise liner, some of whom held diplomatic pass-

ports, were denied entry to the Thai resort town of Pattaya on Dec 25.

But on Friday, Cambodian For-

eign Affairs Ministry spokes-

man Koy Kuong said that the ministry found Viraphand’s letter to be inappropriate.

“It is unacceptable to use arrogant and rude words from an ambassador who is representative of a country,” Koy Kuong said by telephone.

Viraphand’s six-page letter, which contains 109 pages of supporting annexes, claims that Thai officials relaxed the rules in order to allow Cambodians off the ship and lists a series of instances when the Jupiter Cruise liner, owned by Lam and Brother Company, didn’t follow proper docking procedure. For example, the Cambodian passengers on board the ship were listed as crew, and the company told Thai authorities that the purpose of the ship’s docking was to refill fresh water, the letter states.

“The Royal Thai Embassy wishes to stress its strong view once again, that submitting the formal charge of wrong doing against another country is politically sensitive and should be handled with great care,” Viraphand wrote.

Koy Kuong on Friday declined to say whether his ministry would address their problems with the letter with the Thai Embassy, but he did further clarify his critique of the missive.

“In this case, [the ambassador] should use only the most minimal [amount of] words that is acceptable; not to act as wanting to give advice,” he said. “This shows that he does not respect the country that he is residing in.”


Related Stories

Latest News

The Weekly DispatchA new weekly newsletter from The Cambodia Daily delivering news, analysis and opinion to your inbox. Published every Friday at 11:30am. Sign up today.