Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan has clarified Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen Tea Banh over Thai media reports on the recent seizure of a large cache of firearms and ammunition in Trat province.
Some local media linked the arms cache to Gen Tea Banh after a Cambodian man claimed to be a customs official was also arrested as he drove a white Ranger Rover land cruiser to the crash scene to help.
Local media reported that the land cruiser with Cambodian license plate number was associated with the general.
The allegations drew anger from the general who designated the Department of International Relations to deny his involvement and seek official apology from the responsible media.
In the letter to the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh two days after the incident on June 4, the department strongly denied Thai media reporting an accusation against a truck which carried weapons belongs and associates with Gen Tea Banh.
With this wrongful accusation, the department requested following cooperation from the embassy.
It included a request to all Thai television network, newspapers, and online news that broadcasted the false news to issue an official apology statement.
In response to Cambodia's request, Gen Prawit said he had called Gen Tea Banh to explain the matter.
He said Gen Tea Banh has better understanding after his explanation and was satisfied.
However he said Gen Tea Banh wanted the related media organisation to take responsibility and make a public apology to the Cambodian government.
Gen Prawit then warned the Thai media to exercise greater care when reporting on high ranking foreign officials as it has a direct consequence on international relations.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)