INTRODUCTION Armed units of workers - some soldiers and some civilians -- are continuing the fight against Communist infiltration in the villages of Thailand.
INTRODUCTION Armed units of workers - some soldiers and some civilians -- are continuing the fight against Communist infiltration in the villages of Thailand. The National Security Command of Thailand organises the mobile village development units, consisting of some 80 workers, to contribute in practical ways to village life.
SYNOPSIS: In Na Koo village, 600 kilometres (360 miles) north-east of Bangkok, the unit has become firmly established. usually the mobile units stay just one year but this one's been here 14 years. Now the units are armed. Recently Communist guerrillas have been attacking the military workers so now they are prepared for anything. Work, such as road making, continues nevertheless. There is an estimated 7,000 Communist guerrillas in the country.
Work is underway on a seven kilometre (4.3 miles) stretch of road to link Na Koo with neighbouring Ku Bat village. When completed it will save the present arduous journey which is six times longer. Troops with two armoured personnel carriers are dispatched with every road construction gang. The armoured carriers have the added advantage of being able to flatten the roads during construction.
The development units have become an indispensable part of village life here in the past 14 years. By improving the quality of life for villagers by instructing them in agriculture, building irrigation and medicine, the units are performing a double task. The first is the physical help they provide. The other, which is regarded with equal importance by the Thai government, is that they provide effective anti- Communist propaganda by their very presence. The government's view appears to be that if the villagers are content they will resist the Communists who have now come into power in the neighbouring countries of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.