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Govt Urged To Open New Border Checkpoint

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Govt urged to open new checkpoint on Cambodian border

SRI SAKET: -- The head of the Sri Saket Provincial Administrative Organization today called on the government to allow the opening of the Ta Thao checkpoint as a permanent border crossing with Cambodia, saying that the move would serve to boost trade and tourism between the two countries.

The Ta Thao checkpoint in Kantarak district was extensively used as a border crossing prior to Cambodia’s devastating civil war, which left the area littered with landmines.

But Mr. Vichit Traisaranakun said today that the landmines had now been cleared, and expressed confidence that the government would forge ahead with plans to reopen the checkpoint as a permanent border crossing.

Stressing that the people of Sri Saket Province would benefit enormously from the move, he said that the opening of the checkpoint would allow people on the Cambodian side of the border, most of whom were relatively wealthy, to purchase goods in Thailand.

At the same time, he said, the opening of the checkpoint would attract more tourists to Sri Saket Province, which already boasts access to the ancient Khmer monument of Khao Phra Wiharn on the Cambodian side of the border as one of its unique selling points.

The opening of Ta Thao would also provide greater access to the ‘Emerald Triangle’ region linking Thailand with Laos and Cambodia.

Mr. Vichit said that the provincial authorities had already prepared funds to develop the Emerald Triangle region, which would be mobilized as soon as the Ta Thao checkpoint was opened.

-- TNA 2004-09-30

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