PM asserts ex-PM Thaksin’s Cambodia trip is his own affair

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BANGKOK, Aug 17 — Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra asserted today that her fugitive brother, ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s Cambodian trip, is definitely his own affair, and that it has no connection with the Thai government.

Mr Thaksin, Ms Yingluck’s elder brother, will reportedly visit Cambodia on Friday and Saturday, take some international investors to meet and play golf with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, to make a business deal.

The former Thai premier will also help the Cambodian government negotiate a plan for the joint development of a petroleum venture in the Gulf of Thailand in a sector where both countries claim mineral rights, according a source in the Pheu Thai Party.

Ms Yingluck said Mr Thaksin did not represent the Thai government on his visit to Cambodia and the trip would be totally his own business.

Meanwhile, Thai Defence Minister Gen Yuthasak Sasiprapa also said Mr Thaksin’s visited to Cambodia was to meet the business community, and was not involved with the Thai government.

Gen Yuthasak said the viist has nothing to do with his own trip to visit Cambodia at the invitation of his Cambodian counterpart Gen Tea Banh.

Gen Yuthasak said he will visit Thai-Cambodian border Friday but will stay on Thai soil to view areas under supervision of the 2nd Army Area Command. He denied a Cambodian report that an unmanned Thai spy plane had crashed in Cambodia.

The defense minister said the 2nd Army Area Command asserted that Thailand’s armed forces do not have such aircraft and the crash site was reported to be some 20 km from border, so it was impossible that this country’s aircraft would proceed that far into Cambodian airspace.

He reasserted that Thailand had never sent any plane to spy over Cambodian territory.

A joint authority ground patrol in Preah Vihear province reportedly discovered several pieces of aluminium thought to be aircraft debris scattered on the ground.

Local authorities suggested that the metal pieces could be parts of a small, remote-controlled spy plane that flew without a pilot.