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PM relieved with Cambodia’s removal of harsh message

BANGKOK, 26 January 2011 (NNT) – Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva deems Cambodia’s withdrawal of the offensive message against Thailand as good news while assuring that the upcoming military drill at the border is only a regular operation.

According to the Prime Minister, the stone tablet recently erected as an insult against Thailand at Wat Kaew Sikha Khiri Sawara, located to the west of the Preah Vihear Temple, has been discarded by Cambodian authorities upon demand by the Thai people. The tablet carried a message claiming the area as Cambodia’s territory and accusing Thais of being invaders. The Prime Minister said its removal could pave the way for a better relationship between the neighboring countries.

Regarding concerns arising from the planned military drill near the disputed border, Mr Abhisit clarified that the operation had been periodically carried out by the Royal Thai Army and would be a normal occurrence. He added that whether or not live rounds would be used would be up to authorities.

In response to the demands of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), which is currently demonstrating at Makkhawan Rangsan Bridge, the Prime Minister reiterated that the Government is always open for negotiations. He also stressed that the protesters are prohibited from entering Government House as officials are trying to keep the situation under control and minimize the impact on the general public. The Internal Security Act is yet to be imposed in the capital, he confirmed.

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