Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thai-Cambodia border trade reviving

SA KAEO, Nov 15 (TNA) – Cross-border trade at the Thai-Cambodian frontier in Sa Kaeo’s Aranyaprathet district on Sunday showed a gradual return to normal after convicted former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra left Cambodia.

At Aranyaprathet’s Ban Klong Luek border crossing, trade activities at Rong Klua market were lively as most Cambodian traders from Poipet resumed their business activities in the area.

Border tensions eased after Thailand’s fugitive ex-premier flew out of Cambodia's Siem Reap on Saturday.

Many Cambodians were following Cambodian media reports on Thursday’s detention of a Thai engineer by Cambodian authorities in Phnom Penh on charges of spying on Mr Thaksin.

Local Cambodian market talk suggested that the issue could be a trivial matter which will affect bilateral relations to the extent that the Aranyaprathet border crossing would be closed.

Regular Thai gamblers, meanwhile, begin returning to hit the casinos in the neighbouring country.

The atmosphere in on the border in Si Sa Ket province, on the other hand, is still worrisome.

Both Cambodian military and traders along the border of Thailand’s Si Sa Ket province and Cambodia are still concerned about rumours of the closure of the Chong Sa-ngam border crossing.

Anxieties led to Cambodians crossing the border Sunday to stock up on dried Thai foodstuffs and everyday necessities from a market in Phu Sing district to keep in reserve.

Chakkrit Tomasa, a customs official at the Chong Sa-ngam border point, said that the number of Cambodians crossing the border sharply decreased while the amount of purchased goods increased.

Meanwhile, Thai villagers in Praipattana subdistrict near the border have built underground shelters, with financial support of provincial officials, to improve the security of the villagers.

In other developments, Thai foreign ministry official Thani Thongphakdi said that Thailand had presented the letter asking for access to the Thai detainee in Phnom Penh.

The foreign ministry information department deputy director said the ministry had forwarded a letter seeking permission from Khmer authorities to visit detained 31-year-old Siwarak Chothipong, an engineer at Cambodia Air Traffic Services (CATS).

The Thai worker was accused of given confidential information on Mr Thaksin’s flight schedule to the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh.

Mr Thani said until now there was no reply from Cambodia giving permission, but it is the weekend and the office concerned is not open. The ministry would closely follow up the request. (TNA)

General News : Last Update : 19:57:45 15 November 2009 (GMT+7:00)


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