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Former Thai PM Thaksin arrives in Cambodia

Monday, November 9, 2009

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Ousted former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra arrived in Phnom Penh Tuesday morning to give a lecture on economic issues to about 300 Cambodian business leaders at the Ministry of Economy and Financeat at the invitation of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Thaksin's arrival is two days earlier than the original date announced by Hun Sen on Sunday.

Hun Sen told reporters that Thaksin will arrive in Cambodia to give a economic lecture on Thursday. He said that "Thaksin will make a lecture on economic topics in Phnom Penh on Nov. 12 in the morning to 300 people. I cannot tell you when and from where he will come through, but he will make a lecture here."

Relations between the two neighboring countries were strained this past week when Cambodia named Thaksin as its economic adviser. Thailand recalled its ambassador Thursday, and Cambodia followed suit.

Thaksin was ousted in a 2006 military coup for alleged massive corruption and other charges. His supporters say he should be pardoned and returned to power. Since the coup, Thaksin has lived abroad to escape a corruption conviction and two-year prison sentence.

Thaksin, born in Thailand's northern province Chiang Mai in 1949, became one of the richest people in Thailand by setting up telecommunications companies like Shin Corporation and Advanced Info Service before entering politicas.

Thaksin entered politics by joining the Phalang Dharma Party (Power of Justice Party) in 1994, and once served as deputy prime minister and foreign minister in two administrations.

"Thaksin can stay in Cambodia as a guest of Cambodia. He can also be my adviser on the economy," Hun Sen said as he arrived in the beach resort of Hua Hin for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit last month. The Cambodian leader repeated an earlier invitation to Thaksin to stay in Cambodia and rejected Thai claims that Phnom Penh would have to extradite the tycoon.
Editor: Xiong Tong



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