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Potential Uighur Connection To Thai Bombing a Concern, Analyst Says

  • Men Kimseng
  • VOA Khmer

A craftsman fixes the statue of Hindu god Brahma after it was damaged during the deadly blast at the Erawan shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, August 26, 2015.

A craftsman fixes the statue of Hindu god Brahma after it was damaged during the deadly blast at the Erawan shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, August 26, 2015.

Ou Virak, head of the think tank Future Forum, said Cambodia should be “careful,” due to its past involvement in returning Uighurs to China, as Thailand had done in July.

The August bombing in Bangkok could be related to sympathizers for Chinese Uighurs, a group of whom were sent back to China from Thailand last year. That means Cambodia could face similar security risks, after it sent its own group of Uighurs back in 2009, a political analyst says.

“We were involved and we should be concerned,” said Ou Virak, head of the think tank Future Forum, told “Hello VOA.”

Thai authorities have linked a suspect in the August bombing, which killed 20 people, to a Chinese passport and the restive western province on Xinjiang.

Ou Virak said Cambodia should be “careful,” due to its past involvement in returning Uighurs to China, as Thailand had done in July.

Cambodia deported 20 Uighur asylum seekers to China in 2009, drawing much criticism from the international community. Members of the Uighur minority of western China say they are oppressed by the Han ethnic majority there.

But Ou Virak also said that governments can use bombings like that in Bangkok to enforce domestic policies that could be harmful to everyday citizens, placing undue restrictions on civil liberties for the sake of security.

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