SI SA KET : The 2nd Region Army has set up 10 loudspeakers along the Thai-Cambodian border where the Preah Vihear temple is situated to communicate with Cambodian soldiers on the opposite side.
Col Thanasak Mitpanont, chief of the 11th Special Unit of the Suranaree Task Force of the 2nd Region Army, said he instructed his soldiers to install the loudspeakers in the event of any untoward incidents before or after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rules on disputed territory surrounding the Preah Vihear temple.
The government has instructed the army and Foreign Ministry to devise preemptive measures in case of any undesirable developments in the lead-up to the ICJ's ruling on Nov 11. The installation of the loudspeakers is just one of the measures.
"If any clashes, gunfire or other undesirable incidents occur on the Thai side, we will talk in Khmer through the loudspeakers to tell the Cambodian side what is happening," Col Thanasak said.
"This will limit misunderstanding between the two sides and prevent any fighting breaking out."
Col Thanasak said his unit is responsible for border security in the area surrounding the temple and the Phu Makua and Sattasom mountains nearby.
Even though the date of the ICJ's ruling is getting closer, Thai authorities are still allowing both Thai and foreign tourists to visit a vantage point on Pha Mor E-Dang in Khao Phra Wihan National Park in Kantharalak district from where they can clearly view the temple.
In Bangkok, army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha said troops are ready to take care of the border situation in the run-up to the ICJ's ruling.
However, Gen Prayuth said he is certain no border skirmishes will occur because Thai and Cambodian soldiers stationed along the 100km border are working together closely. He has also instructed his soldiers to talk to villagers living along the border about the situation and assure them of their safety.
Gen Prayuth said the Thai-Cambodia Joint Commission is likely to discuss measures to keep the peace before the ruling. He said he does not want to see anyone using the Preah Vihear case to gain political advantage.
Supreme Commander Tanasak Pratimapagorn said the border remains peaceful. Gen Tanasak said he regularly meets his Cambodian counterpart to talk about the border situation. He promised there would be no untoward incidents along the frontier.
Cambodia earlier submitted a petition to the ICJ asking it to confirm whether the 4.6 sq km area surrounding the temple was included in the territory which the court in its original 1962 ruling said belongs to Cambodia.