Further updated: Minor border crossing

5 01 2011

Just in case any reader was thinking that the Cambodia border issue was becoming anything like normal, this from MCOT News:

Thailand’s National Security Council (NSC) on Wednesday urged the public not to raise the detention of seven Thai nationals by Cambodian authorities as an international issue, saying this is a normal incident which could occur along the borders.

NSC Deputy Secretary-General Anusit Kunakorn seems to think that it is “normal” having a bunch of hyper-nationalists from the so-called Thai Patriots Network, a yellow-shirted group, traipsing about on the border with Democrat Party MP for Bangkok Panich Vikitsreth, who was on the phone to the prime minister’s office, as they barged across the border apparently seeking to be arrested.

The NSC’s Anusit said:

that the infringement of sovereignty usually occurs between Thailand and the neighbouring countries, while reaffirming seven detained Thais did not intend to trespass on Cambodian territory.

Huh? Clearly they did. The men knew and say they were in Cambodia (see here). And, “one of the detainees, Veera Somkwamkid, was once arrested for his illegal entry in last August.”

Royal Survey Department Deputy Director-General Maj-Gen Noppadon Chotsiri adds to the muddle by saying:

his department sent a team to inspect the area after the arrest was reported and found that the Thais were detained 55 metres from boundary posts No. 46 and 47. The area (where they were arrested) was still under dispute and waiting for demarcation…. The seven might have entered the land from misunderstanding.

The misunderstanding seems to be on the general’s part, for the men made directly for a place to be “arrested for sure!” as they put it.

But all of this takes the heat off Abhisit….

Update 1: And do read Bangkok Pundit‘s latest post that has comments on Abhisit spinning faster than a tornado and apparent poor geography of the country he leads.

Update 2: It seems that, despite the video evidence to the contrary, lawyers for the detained border crossers are claiming they had “crossed the disputed border by accident.” The story continues: “He [Panich] said he came [to the border area] because Thai people claim it is their land. He said he was walking without knowing that he was entering Cambodian territory and was captured by the authorities.” Okay, we understand he wants to get out of jail and back to Thailand, but the blatant lie has important political consequences in Thailand. He can’t be believed and it seems to us that the prime minister is seriously compromised (and surprisingly quiet now).



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