Sunday, 19 October 2008

PM at bedsides of injured soldiers. What about Cambodian PM?

Ubon Ratchathani
Published on October 19, 2008

Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat yesterday visited seven soldiers injured during last week's skirmish with Cambodian troops.

He flew from his temporary office at Don Mueang Airport in the morning to a military hospital in this northeastern province, where one soldier remains critically ill from head injuries.

Somchai first called on Paratrooper Boonrit Khanti, whose condition was the most serious. He talked to the trooper's doctor and wife.

The PM later visited the six other injured soldiers.

"I am saddened that soldiers have been wounded, so today I have visited them," Somchai said at the end of his trip.

"They are in good spirits and say that if they fully recover they will go back to their duties." The pre-mier later flew to neighbouring Si Sa Ket province, where the violence erupted near the ancient Preah Vihear temple, leaving two Cambodian soldiers dead and seven Thai soldiers injured.

After being briefed by a military commander for 15 minutes, Somchai said no time and place had yet been agreed for talks with his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen but he was adamant a peaceful solution was possible. "Thailand insists that we have to live in peaceful coexistence. If there is any problem we will resolve it by negotiation, but our soldiers will protect our sovereignty," Somchai said after the briefing.

In Ubon Rachthani the PM was welcomed by more than 3,000 government supporters, who offered him moral support in the face of mounting political pressure.

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