Home > Local News > Pardoned Thais arrive home

Pardoned Thais arrive home

Si Sa Ket
deputy governor Charnna Iam-saeng, second from left, accompanies Sanong
Wongcharoen, 37, left, Laen Sapsri, 51, second from right, and Lim
Puangphet, 35, from the Chong Sa-ngam immigration checkpoint in Phu
Sing district after the three were released by Cambodian authorities and returned to Thailand. SERMPONG THONGSAMRIT
Three Thai villagers who were granted a royal pardon and released from
a Cambodian prison have arrived home in Si Sa Ket to a warm welcome
from their families and friends.
Sanong Wongcharoen, 37, Lim Puangphet, 39, and Laen Sapsri, 51, were escorted home yesterday by Thai embassy minister counsellor Suwat Kaewsook.

Lam
Wongcharoen, Mr Sanong’s mother, greeted her son with a hug and tied a
white thread around his wrist in a symbolic gesture to encourage good
spirits to watch over him.

Mr Sanong said
his first meal at home of som tam (spicy papaya salad) and roasted
chicken with sticky rice was especially tasty as in jail he had had
only rice and vegetables for four months.

The three men entered Thailand via Chong Sa-ngam checkpoint in Si Sa Ket’s Phu Sing district. They were briefly interviewed by immigration authorities.

They were arrested
in August after straying across the border while hunting and foraging
for food in the forest. They were charged and sentenced last week to 18
months in jail for spying.

Their release was confirmed on Monday
in a goodwill gesture by Phnom Penh to mark the 60th anniversary of
bilateral relations betweenThailand and Cambodia.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen told Thai army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha yesterday in Phnom Penh that the Preah Vihear temple on the Thai-Cambodian border would reopen to the public after the New Year.

He suggested Thailand should also open its side of the border so people could visit the ancient ruins.

Thai
and Cambodian military leaders would together visit soldiers under
their command over the New Year in order to show that troops from both
countries are still in the disputed area but there is no confrontation,
he said.

Hun Sen said troops from the two countries had withdrawn from Wat Kaew Sikha Khiri Sawara, which is located near Preah Vihear temple.

Gen Prayuth said on his return to Thai soil that relations between the two countries had strengthened.

Bangkok and Phnom Penh had agreed to cooperate in many areas. More Cambodian troops would be sent to Thailand to study the Thai armed forces, he said.

Bangkok Post
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Categories: Local News
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