India-Thailand Relations

KRA-Thai Canal Will Link The Pacific To The Indian Ocean, Says Thai Ex-General

Amitabh P Revi and Prateek Suri Bangkok 10 January 2019

A 341-year-old idea of digging a canal across lower Thailand’s Kra Isthmus is now seeing its latest resurrection. Months before elections slated for February 24 this year, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered the National Security Council and the country’s top economic planning body—the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) to look into the feasibility of the Thai-Kra canal. SNI’s team of Amitabh P Revi and Prateek Suri travelled to Bangkok and along the proposed Route 9A from the Western Thai coast off the Andaman Sea to the Eastern Coast and the Gulf of Thailand togauge whether the time for the over three-century old idea had finally come.

In an in-depth interview with the Chairman of the Thai Canal Association, General (Retired) Pongthep Thesprateep, who has been one of the main proponents of the canal, SNI explores major issues concerning Thailand, from the ongoing insurgency in the south of the country, to challenges to the Thai economy, concerns about the country’s eco-sluggishness, and Thailand’s place in Asia and the world today.

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