PM: Troops ready to defend national sovereignty


BANGKOK, 30 June 2011 – Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has voiced the readiness of the military and security units to protect the national sovereignty as he has shrugged off comments made by Phnom Penh amid concerns over rising Thai-Cambodian tension. 

Countering Phnom Penh’s comment over the withdrawal of Thailand from the World Heritage Convention, the prime minister stated that the military and security units are always ready to safeguard the nation and border residents, and that there is no need for clashes at present.

Regarding election for border residents, Prime Minister Abhisit responded that the Election Commission (EC) will take care of the issue, and the election can be postponed if emergencies arise along the Thai-Cambodian border.

As for the remark by Phnom Penh challenging Bangkok to submit an official resignation letter from the convention to the United Nations Scientific, Educational and Cultural Organisation, the prime minister said that Phnom Penh should not interfere in Thailand’s internal affairs.

Prime Minister Abhisit then confirmed that his government has never used this issue for domestic political benefits as criticised. He noted that there should be bilateral talks if Phnom Penh is sincere enough because the tension will escalate if this issue is brought to the international arena.

The prime minister stressed that Thailand has no policy to commit aggression against another country, and its decision to withdraw from the World Heritage Convention is aimed at protecting sovereignty over its territory and not causing any damage.

Speaking in his capacity as Democrat Party leader, Prime Minister Abhisit said people should choose either the political party that protects the national interest but might irritate neighbouring Cambodia or the political party that has close relationship with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.