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Thailand protests remarks of Philippine gov't spokesman
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21:59, December 03, 2008

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Thailand's envoy to the Philippines Wednesday protested allegedly offensive remarks made by a Philippine government spokesman on Thai people's "lack of political maturity" amid the ongoing turmoil in the Southeast Asian country.

Ambassador Kulkumut Singhara Na Ayudhaya in a statement released here expressed "deep concern" over spokesman Anthony Golez's statement, saying he will formally relay his government's displeasure to the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.

Kulkumut cited Golez's comments that the Thai people's "lack of political maturity" brought chaos in the country for the past few days and that the incident in Thailand will not be replicated in the Philippines because Filipinos "have reached a high degree of political maturity whereby our people respect due process and the rule of law."

Golez's statement was "not based on facts," said the ambassador.

Kulkumut said that Philippine government should not forget that the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has a policy of non-interference in the domestic affairs of its members.

The Philippines and Thailand, along with Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, comprise the ASEAN.

The Thai envoy said that the protest is only indication that "Thai people are free to exercise their political right based on democracy."

"In the midst of protests, the Royal Thai government has committed itself to upholding the democratic system and we resolve the current situation in accordance with the democratic means," he said.

Besides, the ambassador reminded Manila of the Thai government's assistance to the hundreds of stranded Filipinos in Bangkok after two of its international airports were shut down and blockaded by anti-government protesters.

"Following the temporary closure of Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang international airports, the Royal Thai Government has provided all the necessary assistance such as expenses for food and accommodation of all stranded passengers as well as transportation to move them to use Utapao airport for traveling back to their countries," he said.

Responding to Kulkumut's protest, Golez said that there was some misunderstanding of his earlier statement, and he was not planning to apologize for what he had said.


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