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Thai Junta Leader Prayut Praises Kra Canal

May 26, 2015 (EIRNS)—Gen. Prayut Chan-Ocha, the Prime Minister in the military government in Thailand, has for the first time spoken out on the issue of the Kra Canal—the canal which would connect the Pacific with the Indian Oceans and transform the Indian-Pacific Basin. Long supported by Lyndon LaRouche, leading industrial interests in Japan, and now backed by leading industrial interests in China, Gen. Prayut has until now been silent on the Canal, despite his aggressive promotion of major infrastructure development projects in rail and water with China, Japan, Korea, and others.

But reports from EIR friends in Thailand indicate that Gen. Prayut has responded to the extensive international discussion of the canal over the past weeks, since private interests from Thailand and China signed an agreement in Guangzhou on May 15 to promote a full feasibility study. Prayut is reported to have called the Kra Canal a very useful project with lots of benefit to the country. He reviewed the problems often used by opponents to the canal (generally reflecting British and Singapore geopolitical issues rather than real problems) which have to be considered: that the majority Muslim South not be "separated" from the rest of Thailand, that the insurgency by radical and terrorist Islamic networks be resolved, and that the project be financially sound.

The fact is, as presented in EIR as well as in the report prepared by Pakdee Tanapura for the Thai National Committee for the Study of the Kra Canal, the canal would be a major part of any solution for these problems, providing economic activity for the population while turning the region into a major hub for the development of all of Asia.

While there is still opposition within Thailand, the potential for implementing the huge project (estimated to take ten years at a cost of $28 billion) is now better than ever, if Prayut chooses to act on the window of opportunity while he has full power, with elections and a return to democracy expected sometime next year.

With the AIIB coming into being, and China’s $20 billion Maritime Silk Road fund. as well as Japanese and other private and public interest, the Kra Canal is a perfect target for projects of benefit to all the nations of Asia.