Executive Intelligence Review


India-Based Market Intelligence Agency Produces Extensive Report on Thailand’s Kra Canal

Nov. 10, 2018 (EIRNS)—The Delhi-based Strategic News International (SNI) published a long, careful study of the Kra Canal on Nov. 8, following an extensive investigation in Thailand, visiting the site and interviewing several of the retired military officers who have given weight to the long-term effort headed by EIR’s friend Pakdee Tanapura to build the canal.

Titled “A 341-Year-Old Idea Whose Time Has Come?” journalists Amitabh P. Revi and Prateek Suri report on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s recent change of heart, ordering the National Security Council and the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) to look seriously into the canal. Prayut has previously refused to act on the Canal, leaving it to future governments.

“SNI visited both entry-exit points in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand,” they write, “travelling along the so-called 9A route. Detailed video reports and interviews of the top supporters, detractors, fisher-folk, villagers along the route, analysts and naval experts are coming soon on SNI.”

They report on interviews with retired generals who are now in the Thai Canal Association. (Thai Canal is another name for Kra Canal.) Gen. Pongthep Thesprateep said: “The canal will open the Pacific Ocean to the Indian Ocean. It may belong to Thailand by geography, but many countries, the world will benefit.”

They quote Master Mariner Capt. Bundit Sripa:

“The Malacca [Strait] has shallow water—the draft is 20.5 meters. The Thai-Kra Canal will be dredged deeper than that. We’ll dredge about 30 meters. So we can accommodate the biggest vessels in the world. If you can’t pass through the Malacca, then you have to go through Lombok. That will take you about three days more. It will cost too much. One of the biggest benefitters will be Indian exports of ore to China.”

Adm. Soopakorn Booranadiloak responded to recent attacks on the canal alleging it is a Chinese trick to allow rapid military access to the Indian Ocean. “One will have to show passage with innocent intentions,” he said. “It will be used for navigation only. It cannot be used as a military threat to any country.” On the so-called Chinese “debt-trap,” they quote a former editor of the Bangkok Post, Umesh Pandey, saying: “It’s best if a consortium of countries invests so as not to give a particular country the upper hand. I have talked to many ambassadors. Everybody says they’re willing to participate.”

SNI concludes:

“Although he is still to be coroneted, whether the new monarch King Rama X, Maha Vajiralongkorn, chooses the Thai-Kra Canal to be his legacy project is what will be answered in the days, weeks and months to come. It’s an answer that can change not only global maritime routes but also world history.”