THAI military spokesmen have predicted that both Pailin and Preah Vihear temple
will change hands in the near future. Pailin is currently controlled by the
Royal Government Army after a successful assault last month.
spokesmen said it was likely that Pailin would be recaptured by the hands of the
Khmer Rouge soon after the start of the rainy season. The officers, who declined
to be named, said that they were expressing private opinions.
business is waiting for Pailin to fall. They are not going to negotiate with the
Cambodian government, because they know that they will get a better price from
the Khmer Rouge. They will just wait for Pailin to fall again," a senior officer
from the Supreme Command in Bangkok said.
In addition, the Thai military
disputed the Royal Government's claim that Anlong Veng had been taken for a
second time this year. "Anlong Veng is controlled by the KR," the spokesman
Historic Preah Vihear temple fell to the Khmer Rouge last
The Thai spokesman confirmed that the Royal Government is laying
seige to the base of the 600-meter cliff on which the Preah Vihear temple sits
and said the KR defenders could not hold on much longer. The RCAF has shelled
the temple and some rounds landed in Thai territory, the military spokesman
He spoke during a press trip organized by the Thai government
intended to show that links with the KR had been severed and a logging ban was
Reporters had the opportunity to overlook the border
crossing near the temple known to Cambodians as Am See and as CT-1 during the
The only military activity obvious to the press corps was
a few innoccous rounds fired in their general direction by Khmer Rouge
A Thai Colonel quipped: "It's just their way of saying
Despite denying at many points that they had contact with the
Khmer Rouge, another officer, who declined to be named, gave a detailed
description of the KR's tactical situation at Preah Vihear.
He said that
perhaps 100 KR fighters held the temple and the base of the cliff, but Cambodian
government soldiers have been able to surround it partially.
Rouge have routes off of the cliff face to the south and the south-west," the
"But they cannot easily be resupplied, and the government
should be able to retake the cliff."
He declined to specify a timetable.
"It depends on how badly the government wants it, and the relative military
strength at the temple," he said.
Though the temple belongs to Cambodia,
the only easy access is from the Thai side and in more peaceful times it is a
big tourist attraction.