Maj Gen Chamlong Srimuang, a core PAD leader, says Thailand must demonstrate its military power to gain leverage with Cambodians. Thailand's military may be taking his advice.
Maj Gen Chamlong Srimuang, a core PAD leader, organises crowd gathering near Makkhawan Rangsan Bridge on Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue for a major protest against the government's policy on disputed territory on border with Cambodia. POST TODAY PHOTO
Military flexes its muscle
Abhisit approves army exercise near temple
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has given the army the green light to conduct a military exercise near Preah Vihear temple to display its strength as Cambodia continues to lay claim to the disputed area.
The provocative move came after Thailand demanded Cambodia remove a stone tablet carrying a message in Khmer that accused Thai troops of invading Cambodian territory from that spot.
A senior army source who asked not to be named said yesterday the military exercise near the border was proposed by the army.
Thai gamblers would also be blocked from visiting Cambodian casinos close to Thai territory if Phnom Penh refused demands to remove the tablet.
Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha said Thailand would follow proper procedures in handling border disputes with Cambodia.
‘‘There are three steps to solving border issues. They include negotiations, intensified measures and the use of force. We will not move directly from Step 1 to Step 3,’’ Gen Prayuth said.
The tablet was installed in front of Wat Kaew Sikha Khiri Sawara temple, about 300 metres from the ancient Preah Vihear temple.
‘‘We must show our strength,’’ the source quoted the prime minister as saying in his recent meeting with Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon and Gen Prayuth.
The source said Gen Prayuth planned to deploy infantrymen close to Preah Vihear in Kantharalak district of Si Sa Ket province.
The deployment will reinforce paramilitary rangers who are guarding a disputed area with no back-up.
‘‘The army plans to conduct a drill that includes artillery fire close to the border,’’ the source said.
The source revealed the military exercise was aimed at sending a message to Cambodia that Thailand is not only unhappy with the placement of the stone tablet in the disputed area but also Cambodia’s continuing construction of a road to Preah Vihear.
The 3.6-kilometre road is being built on the 4.6-square-kilometre disputed area next to Preah Vihear.
Cambodia has ignored Thailand’s repeated protests against the roadworks. The source said Cambodia and China were accelerating the work on the road with the aim to facilitate visits to the Preah Vihear temple from the Cambodian side.
The source said Mr Abhisit also gave the nod to the army to prevent Thai gamblers from crossing the border to visit Cambodian casinos in Poi Pet, opposite Aranyaprathet district of Sa Kaeo province.
The source said the prime minister did not mention the possibility of border closure which would seriously affect local people.
Mr Abhisit was also said to have agreed to allow the army to buy weapons it needed to handle the border situation.
The nationalist People’s Alliance for Democracy yesterday urged the government to use the country’s stronger military capacity to gain leverage over the Cambodian government in its negotiations with Phnom Penh on disputed border areas.
Maj Gen Chamlong Srimuang, a core PAD leader, said the Thai military did not have to wage a war with Cambodia to regain Thai sovereignty over disputed areas along the border.
But it could use the country’s military might to gain a stronger bargaining position.
The government has not tried to gain such leverage through the demonstration of Thailand’s military capacity, Maj Gen Chamlong said.
‘‘Consequently, it has allowed the Cambodian government to have the upper hand,’’ he said.
‘‘Our fighter jets can reach Cambodian skies in five minutes.’’
Asked if such a demonstration of Thailand’s military might would hurt the country’s relationship with its neighbour, Maj Gen Chamlong replied: ‘
‘What are you afraid of more? Hurting the ties or losing territory?’’
core leader – one of the most active or most important leaders of a group แกนนำ
protest – a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something ชุมนุมประท้วง
policy – a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group นโยบาย
disputed territory – an area claimed by two or more countries, groups or people พื้นที่ที่เป็นกรณีพิพาท
border – the official line separating two areas, regions or countries เขตแดน อาณาเขต
flex muscle – to show somebody how powerful you are, especially as a warning or threat เบ่ง, อวดว่ามีอำนาจ
approve – to give official permission อนุมัต
exercise – a set of activities for training soldiers การฝึกฝน
conduct – to do something in an organised way; to carry out — ลงมือทำ, ดำเนิน, ปฏิบัติ
display – to put something in a particular place so that people can see it easily โชว์, แสดง
lay claim – to demand or ask for something because you believe it is your legal right to own or to have it อ้างสิทธิ, ยืนยัน
provocative – causing an angry reaction, usually intentionally กวนโทสะ
demand – to ask for something very firmly เรียกร้อง, ต้องการ
tablet – a flat piece of stone that has words written on it แผ่นจารึก
invade – to enter a place in large numbers, usually when unwanted บุกรุก
territory – an area of land controlled by a particular country, leader or army อาณาบริเวณ อาณาเขตประเทศ
spot – the particular place where someone or something is ที่, สถานที่
senior – with a high rank or position อาวุโส
source – someone who gives information แหล่งข่าว
propose – to suggest an idea for a group to consider เสนอ
gambler – a person who risks money on a card game, horse race, etc นักการพนัน,นักเสี่ยงโชค
block – to stop someone or something from moving through or along something else ปิดกั้น
refuse – to say you will not do something that someone has asked you to do ปฏิเสธ
demand – a very firm request for something ข้อเรียกร้อง, การเรียกร้อง
remove – to take something away เอาออกจาก
procedure – a way of doing something ขั้นตอนการดำเนินการ
dispute – a serious disagreement ข้อโต้แย้ง
issue – matter; a subject that people discuss or argue about ประเด็น
negotiations – formal discussion in which people or groups try to reach an agreement การเจรจาต่อรอง
intensify – to strengthen เข้มข้นขึ้น
measure – a firm action taken to solve a problem or stop an a dangerous unpleasant situation มาตราการ
ancient – very old ที่เก่าแก่ ที่โบราณ
deploy – (of police or soldiers) to put in place ready for action ส่ง (ทหารตำรวจ) ประจำการ
infantry – soldiers who fight on foot, not on horses or in tanks or other vehicles ทหารราบ
reinforce – to make a group of police or soldiers stronger by adding more people or equipment to it เสริมกำลังเจ้าหน้าที่
paramilitary rangers – unofficial soldiers who are specially trained to make surprise attacks on an enemy and who support a country’s regular army ทหารอาสา
back-up – support กองหนุน การสนับสนุน
drill – an activity which practises a particular skill or procedure การฝึกหัด
artillery – large powerful guns that are used by an army and are moved on wheels or fixed in one place ปืนใหญ่
reveal – to let something become known เปิดเผย
aim – to have as your purpose or goal มีเป้าหมาย มีจุดมุ่งหมาย
placement – the act of placing something somewhere การวาง
construction – the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. การก่อสร้าง
ignore – to fail to pay attention to; to pretend that you have not noticed or do not know about something เพิกเฉย
protest – a strong complaint or disagreement การประท้วง
accelerate – to cause to happen more quickly เร่ง
facilitate – to make it possible or easier for something to happen ทำให้สะดวกขึ้น
give the nod – to approve; to give official permission อนุมัต
opposite – across from or facing someone or something ที่อยู่ตรงกันข้าม
People’s Alliance for Democracy – the union of several groups protesting against the past government and which staged large protests against the Thaksin government as well พันธมิตรประชาชนเพื่อประชาธิปไตย
urge – to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น
capacity – the ability to do a particular thing ความสามารถ,สมรรถภาพ
leverage – power to influence people and get the results you want อิทธิพล
wage war – to start or continue a war or fight ต่อสู้กับ, เปิดศึก
regain – to get back something that was lost or taken away ได้กลับมา
sovereignty – the right to rule a country or area อำนาจอธิปไตย อำนาจเด็จขาดเหนือพื้นที่
might – power อำนาจ, ความแข็งแรง, พลัง
demonstration – showing something and explaining how it works การสาธิต
consequently – as a result; therefore ดังนั้น
have the upper hand – to have an advantage มีความได้เปรียบ
ties – relations; connections ความสัมพันธ์