Sondhi Limthongkul told yellow shirts gathered at their rally site near Government House last Friday night what he would do if he were Prime Minister of Thailand.
18 Feb was Makha Bhucha Day when Thai Buddhists visit temples to perform religious rites to commemorate the occasion when Buddha delivered one of his early important teachings to his disciples, and on that day Sondhi told the crowd that they did not need to go to the temple, because they could perform good deeds there [by gathering] at the rally site instead.
Sondhi mentioned a remark of Atthaporn Pollabutr, a Democrat MP for Phetchaburi, who said that it was the fault of the People’s Alliance of Democracy that the Thai government found it difficult to help the two Thais imprisoned in Cambodia. He said that this was exactly what Abhisit Vejjajiva had said, and asked people in Phetchaburi not to elect any member of the Pollabutr family as an MP ever again.
When the PAD rallied for 193 days [in 2008, seizing Government House and the airports], Atthaporn always stayed by the PAD stage, but when he became an MP, he pretended not to remember that, Sondhi said.
He asked the PAD supporters to meditate for two minutes, saying that Hun Sen was really afraid of them because he was into black magic. ‘So we meditate and bombard him with Buddhist virtues,’ Sondhi said.
He referred to reports that Hun Sen said that [it was as if] Sondhi or Maj Gen Chamlong Srimuang were Prime Minister in response to Thai Deputy Prime Minister Trairong Suwankeeree who, on a recent trip to Cambodia, told him that the Thai government could not control the yellow shirts, as they were exercising their rights.
Sondhi then elaborated what he would do if he were Prime Minister.
He would replace the commander of Army Region 2, and order Army Region 2 and the Burapapayak, or Eastern Tigers, to be 100% ready. He would close all border checkpoints, not allowing anyone to go to the casinos or trade. He would prohibit the export of petrol across the border. And he would give [Hun Sen] an ultimatum to release the two convicted Thais within 24 hours.
‘If he didn’t release them within 24 hours, I would recall the Thai ambassador and expel their ambassador. And after another 24 hours, I’d close the Thai Embassy and recall all our diplomats, and ask them to recall their diplomats, leaving only Cambodian beggars in Thailand,’ Sondhi said.
And he’d set up a taskforce to explain the border issue to all ASEAN nations to insist that the watershed areas belong to Thailand according to the 1904 and 1907 treaties.
He’d then give Cambodia 7 days to remove its troops and people from the watershed areas including the 4.6 square kms. He’d inform Thais who are doing business in Cambodia to return to Thailand, or else they would have to be on their own, and he would prohibit all flights between Bangkok and Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
He’d call a meeting of all television stations and newspapers, and let them ask questions. He’d explain the facts to them until they all understood, and he’d ask each one of them to bring the truth to the people, or else he’d prosecute them.
He’d invite Cambodian opposition politician Sam Rainsy to stay in Thailand, and give him every support to overthrow Hun Sen.
He’d prohibit Thai construction companies from building roads in Cambodia.
He’d seize all watershed areas within 7 days. And if Hun Sen was disgruntled, he’d order the Air Force to attack Kampong Som, which he claimed was Hun Sen’s military base, and the Navy to surround Koh Kong and prevent all petrol tankers from passing through the Gulf of Thailand to Cambodia, until Cambodia agrees that the watershed areas belong to Thailand.
And, of course, Sondhi’s Foreign Minister would never be Kasit Piromya.
If the watershed areas were reclaimed, Sondhi would send Abhisit Vejjajiva, Gen Pravit Wongsuwan, the commander of the Army Region 2, Suthep Thaugsuban and others to Hun Sen in exchange for the Cambodian beggars.
‘Oh! I’d throw in Gen Anupong Paojinda and Kasit Piromya as extras as well,’ Sondhi finished his speech. The yellow shirts then sang the royally-penned anti-communist song ‘We Fight.’