Sondhi urges Thai military to seize Angkor Wat in exchange for Preah Vihear
Yellow-shirt leader Sondhi Limthongkul has urged the Thai military to seize Cambodian territory, including Angkor Wat, to barter for Preah Vihear Temple.
On 7 Feb, Sondhi spoke to supporters of the People’s Alliance for Democracy gathering at Makkhawan Bridge next to Government House.
He said that in a war campaign, Thailand, if it had a strong premier, would have tried to take a military advantage before conducting any negotiations, but even this was beyond Abhisit Vejjajiva’s wit.
The PAD has predicted in advance that there will be a prolonged war with the potential to escalate further, because Hun Sen has assigned his 33-year-old son to take command of the conflict, he said.
Abhisit has always said that he insists that the watershed demarcates the border between Thailand and Cambodia, but has allowed Cambodia to refer to the 1:200,000 map. He is a weak prime minister. Otherwise, he would have ordered the Thai armed forces to push back Cambodian soldiers from Thai territory, and tried to take advantage by letting the Air Force show its power, before starting any negotiations, he said.
The Thai armed forces should move forward to seize Battambang, Siem Riap, Angkor Wat and Koh Kong. And then, in negotiations which would be arbitrated by China and ASEAN, Thailand would barter them for Preah Vihear and force Cambodia to adopt the watershed for border demarcation instead of the 1:200,000 map, according to Sondhi.
He said that a diplomatic approach should not be used in a military campaign. Thailand must take the most advantageous position before any negotiation, and it is not making war with China or Vietnam, but with Cambodia which has no warships. Thailand must wield its greater military power when it has to.
‘[To] whoever says that we’re mad for war, none of us sitting here want our children to [go to war and] die, but to die for a great cause, to protect the land, is worth it. We have 300,000 soldiers who are better equipped than Cambodian soldiers, but we lack the guts, because the senior military figures serve evil politicians. Today, [Defence Minister] Gen Pravit Wongsuwan is not a soldier, but a politician who says anything for political gain.’
Thai soldiers have been killed today because Thai generals are not decisive because it conflicts with their own interests, such as exporting petrol to Cambodia or selling goods along the border. The Thai military must hold on to the nation and the throne, not Gen Pravit, because nothing is more important than the nation, the King and the Queen, he said.