BANGKOK, 25 April 2011 – Deputy Prime Minister for Security Affairs Suthep Thaugsuban has admitted that the Thai-Cambodian border tension might prolong for a period of time, and that how the situation will develop depends on the Cambodian leader.
Mr Suthep stated that Thailand wants to solve the border conflict through peaceful means, but is also ready to retaliate whenever attacked. He voiced his confidence that the military will be able to protect the national sovereignty.
The deputy prime minister added that it depends on Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen how he would like to put an end to the prevailing situation.
Second Army Region Commander Lieutenant General Thawatchai Samutsakorn earlier requested reinforcement around the Preah Vihear Temple, but Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva reportedly asked Thai troops to only stay on the defensive.
Mr Suthep believed that the prime minister would not meddle in the operation of the military, but wanted to show to the world that Thailand was not the intruder. He said the situation around the temple remained calm but the tension might prolong.
The deputy prime minister added that the Thai-Cambodian border will not be closed; otherwise, citizens of the two countries might be affected.