PDA

View Full Version : Thailand



four_five_one
16-05-2010, 08:59 PM
The situation in Thailand appears to be reaching its brutal conclusion. The current death toll is now 33, not including those who died on April 10, as far as we know, all were unarmed civilians: http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/bangkok-pundit-blog/how-many-people-have-been-killed-and-injured - from earlier, 8 more deaths since then.

This amounts to no less than state sanctioned murder. Abhisit Vejjajiva has now officially surpassed General Suchinda (in terms of protesters killed, including April 10th): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_May_(1992).

Some links: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cl2A8JZdlY - http://bit.ly/9Sw0yb - http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2010/05/16/nick-nostitz-in-the-killing-zone/ -- many reports indicate that inexperienced, raw recruits who are in no way trained for crowd dispersal or indeed urban warfare, have been firing indiscriminately at anything that moves.

Abhisit seems to have the full support of the elites and many from the middle classes are cheering on his crackdown, happily calling for yet more "rural buffalo" or "uneducate people" to be slaughtered (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=117557918280498&v=wall&ref=mf -- roughly translates as "let's enjoy the deaths of the red terrorists").

Deaths include a ten year old kid, two medics, innocent bystanders who aren't even part of the protest & several foreign reporters have also been injured. The Thai government maintains that thus far it has only fired at "terrorists". Apparently, red shirts are heavily armed and dangerous, yet no soldiers have been reported dead as of now. As CNN & BBC haven't reported seeing any red shirts with weapons, an impromptu smear campaign has begun against them: "international media free speech is one thing. mind you own business is another". http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=397495867234&id=615520846&ref=mf http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=122351831122683&v=wall - http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/bangkok-pundit-blog/rationale-response-to-news-you-don-t-agree-with

The government has engaged in a very effective media war, with thousands of webpages blocked - these are not all dissenting, controversial web pages, far from it, today CNN was blocked. Videos shot by media associations and bystanders alike are routinely accused of being faked, whilst photos of dead protesters are always "a photo shop job". All of the TV channels in Thailand are slanted towards the government (some much more than others), that, along with the censorship, makes it very difficult for 'neutrals' to get an accurate idea of what's actually happening...

Edit: Should make it clear, so this doesn't seem completely one sided: Red shirts are armed, with home made rockets, catapults, molotov cocktails and rocks. Some have witnessed hand guns being used. No one has seen any "black shirts" with heavy ordinance yet, that I know of. I gather people are mostly afraid of the their tendency to set tires alight, as neighboring buildings have already accidentally caught on fire. There's also a video circulating of red shirts beating a soldier, and one soldier being shot in close proximity to the red shirts (but not clear who shot him - he didn't die). One soldier is now confirmed dead, but thought to be a result of friendly fire. Both sides likely to lose all control of their "war machines" today.

Map of the conflict: http://maps.google.co.th/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=116480606892254086046.0004817fafbb87b0951c0&ll=13.74247,100.545073&spn=0.057444,0.077162&z=14 (via https://twitter.com/RichardBarrow)

Feel free to follow my twitter account back a bit for some indication of what's been going on: http://twitter.com/on_off_course

four_five_one
16-05-2010, 11:19 PM
Just realized some people might not be able to see the facebook stuff, here's the typical middle class Thai reaction against international media:

The Case Against the International Media’s Report on Thailand "please read and share it with all your friends"
Share
Today at 2:28pm
By Reungvit NandhabiwatToday at 12:36am

This is going to be a long note, but I want my overseas friends to understand what has been happening here in Thailand. You would only see the soldiers' shooting scenes or injured people being carried away on international TV channels for 30 seconds, but never got to know about the background. The truth is, the Thai government has been too accommodating by withholding the use of force since the rally started 2 months ago (with the exception of 10th April event, when the soldiers were ordered to move in without live weapons and subsequently got slaughtered by unknown gunmen shooting from the 'Red Shirt' protesters).



The majority of us support the government in dealing with the terrorists hidden amongst the protesters. It held talks with the rally leaders and offered peace solutions to them 10 days ago. The Prime Minister publicly urged the protesters to disperse for fear of violence created by the terrorists. But the plan wasn't accepted. So, it's time to block food and water supplies entering the center of the protest. If the protesters were peaceful, they wouldn't rush out to throw rocks, firecrackers and even bombs at the soldiers' barricade -- thus, causing the soldiers to defend themselves by firing rubber bullets and live rounds.



It's very frustrating for the law-abiding citizen of Bangkok -- we even voiced our dissatisfaction at the government for its failure to uphold the laws. The situation was like Bangkok was being held for ransom. A lot of businesses got affected because it's right in the middle of the major commercial area.



Again, think what your government would do if there were a large group of protesters blocking all traffic at Orchard Road in Singapore; Times Square in NYC; Ginza in Tokyo; or Knightsbridge in London for two months. They set up barricades to search through personal belongings of everyone travelling through the area. Also think what it would do if those protesters invaded a nearby hospital, causing doctors & nurses to evacuate patients -- some of whom are newborn babies in incubators and those in ICU -- to other hospitals. And most important of all, think what it would do if the protesters were found to have large stockpile of M79 grenades, M16 & AK47 assault rifles.



Do you think your government would be as tolerable as the Thai government?



Reungvit (Ging) Nandhabiwat

15 May 2010

four_five_one
16-05-2010, 11:37 PM
Another facebook note expresses a similar sentiment:

To whom it may concern,

In every situation that involves man, there are always different points of views involved; some truthful, more accurate than others. However, a lot of us that reside here in Thailand believe that some of the foreign press are depicting situation here rather unfairly, be it with intent or without.

It seems most news releases are to defame the government for harming innocent civilians; when in fact, the military force, under state of emergency, is fighting armed terrorist group that use civilians as their human shields. In order to leave minimum damage and to bring peace back to the country as soon as possible, the military force has been ordered to use rubber bullets in the operation. Only in restricted zone that real bullets are being used; and with prior notice.

If we may dare ask, “aren’t journalists supposed to remain objective & unbiased?” With that said, we plead for foreign press compliance in fulfilling these rather small requests; being the worldly acclaimed journalists that you all are.

With the use of our proficiency in English, we, Thai people, hope to publish the “Truth” of the situation to the best of our abilities.

CORE NOTIONS

1. The government has announced protesters to leave Rajprasong site and nearby area. The protest is considered unlawful act of terror.

2. ‘Red Shirts’ who refuse to leave are in the intention of escalating violence and causing unrest.

3. Red Shirts leaders are the reasons behind all violence. They arouse and provoke protesters to incite violence and chaos

4. Red Shirts leaders hide themselves behind human shields of women and children. Majority of protesters in Rajprasong site don’t know that they are being used as pawns

5. The government has never intended for any violence to happen and is not involved in Seh. Dang’s shooting

FOR YOUR COOPERATION

1. Please help us find facts if possible with photographs or video clips from news footage and articles within Thailand.

2. Please translate into English and paste it on this page in facebook. We can all use it to copy-paste onto other international websites.

3. We will try to spread these facts to as many as possible international websites as possible.

4. Please write in style of bulletin so it is short and straight to the point.

four_five_one
16-05-2010, 11:43 PM
One more for good measure:

I’m not in a popularity contest. I’m not a two-faced diplomat playing it safe and trying to please everyone. So let me say it loud and clear: It’s a rebellion, so put an end to it _ with swiftness, severity and certainty.

The military coup in 2006 wrongly overthrew the then democratically elected prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. That was no democracy.

The coup council handed the power back to the people in 2007. The People Power Party (PPP) won the following election. That was democracy.

The PPP was banned by the Constitution Court for electoral irregularities and the parliament _ the democratically elected representatives of Thailand _ voted the Democrats into power. That was democracy.

The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) argue against the Democrat-led coalition government’s legitimacy and protest for the government to step down and call a general election.

That was democracy.

And the UDD had won.

The goals of the UDD from the very start: They wanted a House dissolution. They will have one in September. They wanted a general election. They will have one on Nov 14. All within seven months and PM Abhisit Vejjajiva’s term actually ends in January 2012, a year and a half from now.

They should be dancing in the streets, celebrating victory. Then we can all go to the voting booth in November. Peace and democracy. But no.

The truth has revealed itself. The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship is simply using democracy as a front in the interests of dictatorship.

Refusing the peaceful compromise, forsaking the democratic process, continuing to harm the country for the interests of one man, Thaksin Shinawatra, fighting against security forces of the rightful democratic government of Thailand _ that’s an uprising, it’s a rebellion.

It’s criminal. That is not democracy.

If you disagree with me and think the UDD is in the right, then let me simplify it: The next time you’re pulled over by the law in a traffic stop, you should just burn tyres, shoot slingshots at the cop and call him a dictator.

Anyone with an arrest warrant? No need to surrender. Barricade and fortify your home, fire slingshots and fire-crackers and call the law tyrannical.

Buy a lifetime membership to the Association of Anarchists. You don’t belong in a civilisation.

The UDD leaders agreed to the prime minister’s terms. But instead, Thaksin Shinawatra ordered Maj Gen Khattiya Sawasdipol to step on the brake. Because in his mind, he’s screaming: ”What about me!” ”What do I get out of this entire peace and democracy shenanigans!”

Here’s Thaksin’s dilemma. Peace and the democratic process don’t guarantee his return to power. Someone in Montenegro is kicking and screaming on the floor: ”Me! Me! Me! What about me!”

Accepting the compromise is a loss of face and may even make PM Abhisit look good in the eyes of the people, for biting the bullet and extending his hand. Thaksin Shinawatra can no longer rely on the voting booths. He can no longer rely on the democratic process.

The UDD has used democracy as a tool _ manipulated and exploited it to return Thaksin to power. Now that they are no longer confident that the democratic process will serve their interests, the UDD has transformed itself from a democratic movement into an uprising, a rebellion, a criminal organisation.

It’s worth repeating: They wanted a House dissolution. They have one in September. They wanted a general election. They have one on Nov 14. That’s democracy. Instead, they flushed democracy down the toilet.

So there’s no negotiation other than the complete and total capitulation by the government to the UDD’s every will and every whim. It’s a total victory that will embarrass the government in the eyes of the Kingdom and of the world and may possibly bury the Democrat party. That’s the game.

To Thaksin and the UDD, returning Thaksin to power is worth the 50-odd lives already lost. And that figure is bound to rise. More than 1,000 have been injured and that figure will rise. The billions of baht in economic damage. And that figure will rise.

It’s an uprising. It’s a rebellion. It’s criminal.

The UDD is screaming: ”Now! Now! Now! Prime Minister resign now!” Thaksin Shinawatra is crying: ”Me! Me! Me! I want my power back!” That’s not democracy. That’s a child that needs to be put across the lap for a good spanking.

Let me repeat it again: They wanted democracy. They had democracy. We can all go to the voting booth on Nov 14. But they flushed democracy down the toilet and chose instead, a rebellion.

And when there’s a rebellion, the government must put down the rebellion. Otherwise, we have anarchy. The law must be swift, severe and certain _ any student of criminology can tell you that.

I’ve watched television and read newspapers all this weekend. Most so-called intellectuals, academics and media talk about reconciliation. Well, that’s easy and safe _ using a thousand flowery words without saying anything worthwhile.

We reap what we sow. Again, I’m not in a popularity contest. I’m not a two-faced diplomat playing it safe and trying to please everyone. So let me say it loud and clear _ it’s a rebellion. To preserve civilisation, the government must put down the rebellion _ swift, severe and certain.

UDD members have lost their lives. This is unfortunate. It should never have happened. They should all be in our prayers and their families should be assisted in any way possible. But they’ve died in a rebellion against the rightful, democratic government of Thailand.

The security forces that have lost their lives. This is unfortunate. It should never have happened. They should all be in our prayers and their families should be assisted in any way possible.

Journalists and other innocent bystanders have lost their lives. This is unfortunate. It should never have happened. They should all be in our prayers and their families should be assisted in any way possible.

It didn’t have to come to this. It shouldn’t have come to this. But here we are on the brink of anarchy because of the pride, greed and vengefulness of one man, and of the indecisiveness, uncertainty and lack of leadership of another.

Let me repeat: We reap what we sow. It’s a rebellion. Put an end to it, swift, severe and certain. Or step down and let the rebels take over. The longer this crisis drags on, the closer we are and the deeper we will be in a state of anarchy.

hob
16-05-2010, 11:52 PM
Very interesting. i've been looking for information this evening - you've provided the best resources i've found so far!

four_five_one
16-05-2010, 11:53 PM
Here's some background on the factions involved: http://khikwai.com/blog/2009/02/09/thailands-orange-revolution/

The current state of play: http://khikwai.com/blog/2010/05/10/the-end-of-the-beginning/

--

Reuters interview with Federico Ferrara:

Here are some comments I offered in a short email interview with a Reuters correspondent in Bangkok.


1) Who seems to have the edge and how long do you expect this to go on for? From our perspective, it seems to be getting worse. The military seem unable to establish control in various points of the city. But very interested in your view and the implications

As I write this, battles appear to be intensifying at Rama 4 and Din Daeng. At this point, I have a feeling that this might be just the beginning of the worst massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in the history of the country. The fact that so many people have died without the army having gained much ground seems like a rather ominous sign that executing the full dispersal will take several times the number of casualties that are being officially reported at this time. From the government's standpoint, however, the worst case scenario is that the crackdown fails despite having killed dozens of people. So unless somebody stops them (a brave general like Krit Srivara did with Thanom in 1973; or someone else), my guess is that they will go all in. Having already started opening fire on civilians, journalists, emergency medical personnel, and generally everything that moves, the difference between 50, 100, or 200 deaths is just a number on a piece of paper.


2) At what point does Abhisit's position look tenous, and what would be the options if he were to be forced to step aside?

My guess is that he is finished already, but he is a convenient frontman for the time being. I would, however, be surprised to see him last very long after the successful completion of a crackdown, as he is already irreparably tarnished. So my expectation is that he will be used to carry out this carnage and then thrown overboard once he has served his purpose, as people more powerful than him attempt to keep what is likely to be a very fragile peace for some time to come. At this point, Abhisit survives only to shoulder the blame for whatever goes wrong between now and the end of these demonstrations.


3) Do you think there is chance this could spiral into a broader civil conflict?

Hard to say, because I don't have enough insight into the UDD organization. Besides, it's still hard to say what the state of its leadership will be once this is over. Will the leaders be in jail? In exile? Killed? What happens later largely depends on how this situation is brought to a close. I will say this, however: the potential for a broader civil conflict is high. Other than reclaiming 2-3 square kms of land, "winning" this fight solves nothing for this dying regime. In fact, it is conceivable they might have an even worse problem on their hands after they have "cleansed" Bangkok of the Red Shirts --- especially if they have to massacre hundreds of people in the process.

four_five_one
17-05-2010, 12:28 AM
Guardian gets it right: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/may/17/thailand-protest-valiant-dead?CMP=twt_gu

four_five_one
17-05-2010, 04:58 AM
Federico Ferrara on how a western government might respond to similar protests:

Many people are wondering/speculating about the way a liberal-democratic Western government would be responding to a situation like the one presently unfolding on the streets of Bangkok.

To get a perspective on this issue, the most extreme example I can think of is the Los Angeles riots in 1992.

This example is "extreme" because the LA rioters were far more unruly and violent than the Red Shirts have been over the past two months. During the LA riots, looting and torching of buildings was widespread (we have seen very little of this in Bangkok). So were armed attacks by mobs on civilians (mostly white and Korean) as well as gun fights between shopkeepers and mobs of assailants (again, very little of this has been seen here). Finally, the Red Shirts have engaged in very little property destruction (Central World would not have survived the first hour of the LA Riots); most of it has been incidental to fighting against the army's advance.

How did the American government react to the LA Riots? The short answer is "nothing like the Thai government has in this instance." See this time-line of the events for an overview: http://www.lafire.com/famous_fires/920429_LA-Riots/LATimes-2002-0429-0501/2002-0429_latimes_ChartingTheHoursofChaos.htm. Plenty of other information, video, etc is widely available on the internet.

After the LAPD proved unable to deal with the situation, the state government mobilized about 4000 National Guard troops, while the federal government sent in about the same number of army troops shortly thereafter. Order was re-established in just a couple of days, but in large part thanks to crowd control techniques as opposed to shooting indiscriminately on the protesters.

The final toll of the riots, which lasted 6 days, was officially 54 deaths. However, it is noteworthy that the overwhelming majority of the people killed were killed by the demonstrators themselves (some voluntarily, some accidentally in fires/stampedes, etc.). There were some shootings carried out by the army/police in somewhat suspicious circumstances, but the army/police were not responsible for more than a handful of deaths.

It might be worth reflecting on why the American government was able to bring a much worse situation under control so quickly and without massacring dozens of people. Besides the issue of professionalism, I think that the answer has to do with the legitimacy of the government. Most established democracies enjoy what is known as "power without force" --- that is, they can maintain order with relatively little violence. Thailand's government is more of a case of "force without power" --- that is, it isn't able to control its citizenry in spite of a massive show of force.

Either way, the bottom line is that if you think that any Western government would have acted the same way the Thai government is acting today, you should think again.

four_five_one
17-05-2010, 05:22 AM
Need to go now, here's a list of the best twitterers out of Bangkok for live updates:
@bangkokpundit @fishmyman @RedPhanFa2Day @KhiKwai @UDDThailand
@s_narut @AndrewHurd @willphd @Journotopia @Nganadeeleg @AtcBkkk
@ricefieldradio @RichardBarrow @farangone @tri26

four_five_one
17-05-2010, 05:31 AM
Another video (graphic): http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=123992380959874

four_five_one
17-05-2010, 06:15 AM
"A number of prominent international journalists in Bangkok have themselves witnessed unarmed protesters shot by Thai security forces, both on 10 April or over the past few days, especially in the “live-ammunition zones” established by the government."

"If the red shirts are armed and dangerous, you wouldn’t know it from the number of casualties: in the last two days, 29 protesters have been killed, and zero army and police personnel. This suggests disproportionate, excessive, and deadly force used by security forces in dispersing the protesters. But this skewing of numbers can’t last long: the situation created by the government has created has opened the doors wide to extremists on both sides."

http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2010/05/17/bangkok-this-is-a-massacre/

four_five_one
17-05-2010, 07:12 AM
Renegade general Seh Daeng has died this morning: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/17/2901669.htm?section=world

four_five_one
17-05-2010, 07:35 AM
3PM Thai time (9am UK time) appears to be crucial. Protesters have been threatened with two years in jail if they haven't left the protest site by this time.

Not sure if that's when the military operation to re-take the site will also begin...

four_five_one
17-05-2010, 09:14 AM
Deadline has passed. Not many have left the protest site, one reporter spoke to a woman at the site: "When I asked her if she thought it was worth sacrificing her child's life, she said it was worth it for the fight for democracy".

Behind the scenes political talks have been going on, but seem to have reached an impasse. Military action still most likely option right now. In any case all protesters still in the zone are now officially criminals, and face two years in jail.

"final entrance to the protest site is being sealed as we speak, with razor wire..."

Woebot
17-05-2010, 09:24 AM
this is valuable stuff, thank you. would you mind my asking how you came to follow this so closely?

zhao
17-05-2010, 09:27 AM
thanks a lot for the in depth reportage. word certainly needs to be spread.

not much to add except this BBC overview: http://www.veoh.com/browse/videos/category/family/watch/v20015217aC8WypBR#

four_five_one
17-05-2010, 09:32 AM
Yep, lived in Thailand for two years 2006 - 2008, pretty much from the coup to the yellow shirt protests, actually. Went back last year for four months, and saw how people had become highly politicized. Every taxi driver would ask: "What do you think about the red shirts? What do you think about Thaksin? What do you think about democracy?"

Still have a Thai partner, who sits more towards the Abhisit side of the fence... so quite a lot of emotional investment in this for me really. I broadly support the red shirts though ~ that's probably clear from my posts, though am trying hard to consider both sides.

four_five_one
17-05-2010, 10:04 AM
"Peaceful anti-government protests turned violent... Soon after, the government issued a statement stating it is 'necessary' to use police & military forces to quell the demonstrators."

Almost surreal how the events seem to be mirroring those of May 1992:http://www.2bangkok.com/09/1992headlines02.shtml

And a familiar argument trotted out again here in this open letter to CNN, no doubt penned by one of the urban middle class: "5. CNN has failed to report about the nature of most of the participants of the protest, a majority of which have come from the rural area without true understanding of the objective of the protest."

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=391717438961&id=1295516606

four_five_one
17-05-2010, 10:08 AM
Government chief of propa... spokesman Panitan on a talk show right now: "Host to Panitan: Will you agree to ceasefire? Panitan: We didn't start the fighting"

"Panitan: We are able to communicate with red shirt leaders to get the women and children to a temple nearby"

four_five_one
17-05-2010, 10:19 AM
Al-Jazeera: "No sign of a royal intervention, this time..." so perhaps not quite an exact repeat of 1992.

But still: "Shootings were in self-defense, says spokesman."
1992: http://www.2bangkok.com/09/1992headlines13.shtml

four_five_one
17-05-2010, 10:39 AM
BBC latest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVwgk88Czac

Government sent everyone a text message saying: "Terrorists attacking authorities, protesters, journalists & general public. Urge all to leave."

Naturally, no journalist can confirm this. Unless they're, of course, referring to their own soldiers as "terrorists", which would probably be a more accurate description.

four_five_one
17-05-2010, 12:06 PM
Sporadic fighting all around the city. Red shirts have apparently stolen a gas tanker, and are trying to blow it up with fireworks right now. http://yfrog.com/7dcdqsj

four_five_one
17-05-2010, 12:09 PM
A wise head speculates: "5 options left: Annihilate reds, PM resigns, House dissolves, King intervenes, or Coup...one of these before Friday"

four_five_one
17-05-2010, 12:30 PM
CNN latest: http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/05/17/thailand.protests/index.html?hpt=T1

scottdisco
17-05-2010, 02:12 PM
big up your chest four_five_one.

can i say i quite agree w your retweet (just got back onto Twitter) that Michael Yon should stick to embeds in Afghanistan...

vimothy
17-05-2010, 02:18 PM
Yeah, respect for this--awesome stuff.

vimothy
17-05-2010, 02:19 PM
Any good backrgounder type pieces knocking about? I know next to nothing about Thailand.

hob
17-05-2010, 04:29 PM
wicked stuff four_five_one. i lived in BKK for 12 months from 2008-2009 - just off Ratchaprarop by Petburi, where it appears to be kicking off. There's definitely a huge and concerted attempt on behalf of the elites to spread propaganda. when you spoke to taxi drivers, what were they saying? unforunately, i reckon the govts going to go all out here. the system is being challenged - could be a civil war - the inequalities definitely their.

hob
17-05-2010, 04:32 PM
http://www.google.co.uk/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=the+thai+ethnocracy+unravels&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&redir_esc=&ei=P2HxS_uyIsf7_AbDvIXnBg

its the 1st one

dd528
17-05-2010, 05:08 PM
Thanks four_five_one, and everyone else who's posted in here.

I know virtually nothing about Thailand and I've been struggling to get my head around the basics of what's going on out there. I've been pretty disappointed in news coverage of the events actually. My faith in the ability of mainstream TV and online news outlets to provide sophisticated and analytical coverage was riding at a bit of a high after seeing some very good reports on the European economic situation, but since this Thai stuff started to hit the headlines I seem to get more confused every time I turn on the television.

Seems that a dingy backwater of the internet is the best place to get a bit of clarity, as usual.

polystyle desu
17-05-2010, 09:37 PM
...
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/18/world/asia/18thai.html?hp

sufi
17-05-2010, 10:42 PM
http://2bangkok.com/10/TruthToday100507-10CivilWar.jpg

Yesterday, at the height of the rioting in Bangkok, a group of older cleaning ladies were in my office. They were all from the provinces as most of the physical laborers are in Bangkok. When they saw MCOT running on a TV with various government figures and commentators, they started telling me how these people were no good and were all going to be killed soon. They they kept pointing to the government men on TV and then making the "slit throat" gesture with their fingers.

Events of recent years have unleashed a huge amount of partisan information and unbridled hate into the political system that will likely challenge the Thai political system for years to come. However, it is important to contrast the distant and fearful international view of what is happening (such as CNN coverage that is focusing on violent events on the ground) with the background detail of what is propelling events and how they might play out....
continues at: http://2bangkok.com/10/100516CivilWar.shtml

hob
18-05-2010, 12:15 AM
I have yet to see any evidence of the demonstrators using fire arms. Has anyone?

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 02:23 AM
Thanks for that pdf Hob. I hadn't seen that. This site covers much of the immediate background: http://khikwai.com/blog/2008/12/ - the piece I linked on the first page best describes the differences between the two sides "Orange Revolution". Also, this obviously: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008%E2%80%932010_Thai_political_crisis & maybe this: http://data4.blog.de/media/866/1618866_ac8f0faaae_d.pdf

The last piece is written by Thai socialist Gi Ungpakorn (giving his version of events here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Bj4GBr24KA at SOAS last year). He is in exile in the UK because he's wanted for the crime of lesse majeste, which carries up to 15 years in jail, and you can more or less be sure you won't get a fair trial since no one can actually quote what you said without committing the crime themselves. Giles didn't actually say anything about the King, he just cited this banned work (http://www.amazon.co.uk/King-Never-Smiles-Biography-Thailands/dp/0300106823) in his book (linked above). Often lesse majeste is used for political reasons, not just for people explicitly insulting the King, info here: http://thaipoliticalprisoners.wordpress.com/

The yellow shirts who invaded the airport were an explicitly violent fascist movement - their leader Sondhi said while at the airport: "We will not open our doors to police. If they storm in to shoot at us, we'll shoot back. We'll be ready to die". They killed two cops and the police were more afraid of them than vice versa. Yet the same people that are calling for a vicious crackdown to "restore order" now, were up in arms when the police used tear gas against the yellow shirts when trying to remove them from government house. Double standards are one of the things red shirts are really angry about.

Good analysis here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx_O52V7RkE

btw Hob I've seen one picture today of a "black shirt" with a gun, but the gun looks like something made in the first world war. Someone said the gun might be able to injure at a range of 20m or less.

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 02:46 AM
Michael Yon is definitely a retard. Night before last he reported "thousands of rounds and grenades were coming in at him" whilst he was trapped in a hotel. Then in the morning he admitted he'd exaggerated greatly. He also said he believes "without any evidence" that the red shirts were behind the grenades launched at this hotel & that the red shirts have "proven they're brave guys, now they need to go home. come on guys, you won't lose any face." If you don't have any evidence, don't say dumb shit intended to provoke when thousands of people are reading it.

This is when he'd been in Bangkok about a day ;P and reckoned it was worse than Afghanistan had been...

I believe Michael Yon is reporting by watching CNN in his luxury suite and exaggerating out of all proportion. But I have absolutely no evidence for that. Quote from twitter: "Michael Yon is waiting for his balls to be FedEx'd to him from Kabul".

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 03:13 AM
dd528, unfortunately TV in Bangkok is censored by the regime, so most Thai's that want an idea of what's really going on are forced to turn to the BBC or CNN. Chances are it's even more confusing for those in Bangkok, the conflict is still focused in a fairly small area, so people are unlikely to witness it first hand, and the TV either shows events favorable to the government (which are few and far between), or cartoons and Korean soaps.

A middle class friend of mine who doesn't really support the red shirts, has turned completely against the government after weeks of lies & propaganda plus the aforementioned censorship. He says "twitter or Facebook being blocked would see me joining the mob". You're right that the best way to get accurate reports is on the internet, with citizen journalists, bloggers, protesters and international journalists all posting their side of the story. Abhisit actually said that "social media has become a big problem for Thailand", guess it's a problem because it means that he can't stop pictures of state sanctioned murder from circulating?

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 03:24 AM
Great pictures here: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/05/protests_turn_deadly_in_thaila.html?camp=localsear ch:on:twit:bigpic

Good pics from a student journalist, (taken whilst experienced international reporters refuses to leave his hotel room), http://www.vaitor.com/?p=1640

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 04:05 AM
Thai soldiers must immediately stop firing live ammunition into several large areas in Bangkok where anti-government protesters are gathered, Amnesty International said today.

"Eye-witness accounts and video recordings show clearly that the military is firing live rounds at unarmed people who pose no threat whatsoever to the soldiers or to others," said Benjamin Zawacki, Amnesty International's Thailand specialist. "This is a gross violation of a key human right--the right to life".

"Deliberately firing live ammunition at unarmed people, whether they be protesters or otherwise and who pose no credible threat to anyone else, is unlawful", said Zawacki.

http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/bangkok-pundit-blog/amnesty-international-military-must-halt-reckless-use-of-lethal-force

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 05:32 AM
Open letter from "Thaksin" to international news media:

"As journalists reporting in Thailand, you have the inherent professional duty to demand the blood of the dark-skinned Khmer terrorists, and remind us of what a unique menace Thaksin presented to society and how the Red Shirts want to bring him back and make him the Head of State. Or at least have the self-decency to not comment on politics at all.

We are really upset at how you have not only failed to do this, but have sank to the depths of publishing images and stories about unarmed terrorists being shot by soldiers carrying the latest in sophisticated assault rifles and heavy body armour, when the terrorists were clearly holding foot clappers and saying VERY BAD THINGS about our KING!!!!!!!"

http://codsbeenhere.com/Cod/?p=50

Hopefully people are starting to smarten up and realize what they're seeing on TV simply isn't commensurate with what international media are reporting: http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/bangkok-pundit-blog/is-cnn-s-coverage-really-biased

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 06:01 AM
Must see Al-Jazeera debate betw. red shirts & government supporters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7b8mYooNwwg

(note the red shirt is cool as a cucumber. who's being hot-headed here lol...)

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 06:20 AM
Some people doubt the existence of the "black shirts". Experienced war reporter Michael Yon has personally witnessed them: "They are using radios, telephones and fire bombs a...nd fireworks." Soldiers are still being very nice to Michael Yon. He feels that soldiers didn't shoot any red shirts because they're very nice to him. Though he has no evidence for that.

My 'open letter' to Michael Yon - "you have no fucking clue what you're talking about. No further reports until you've done at least a little reading."

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 11:09 AM
Very little change thus far today. Some random firing but no reported deaths. A Thai told me on Facebook that she witnessed several soldiers shot to pieces and killed outside her room. Yet Erawan Center which does the official count for deaths has no report of this, neither does anyone else. Asked her to tell me where she lived so I could pass it on to an international reporter, no response...

Guess you start to confabulate when you've swallowed so much propaganda, huh?

In other news, Michael Yon is still a retard: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4402138&id=207730000664 - the standard of his reporting here must call any of his reports from Afghanistan into question.

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 04:30 PM
Does anyone else despise Michael Yon? OK, enough about him now...

Latest developments include a possible ceasefire negotiated bet. reds & government with senators meditating. Also a rumour circulating that the full crackdown may ensue at 11pm Thai time (should peace deal fail, I assume).

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/37480/whatever-the-govt-may-say-this-is-a-massacre

Also of interest, this note by Federico Ferrara:

@thai_buzz asked the following: "Do you think every gov should resign, when there is uprising in need of CC measures, as long as the military isn't capable?"

This is a very tough question to ask in terms quite so general, without consideration for the details of the particular case.

I would say three things, however.

First, in real parliamentary democracies, governments often resign for much less than this (sometimes just after losing a single vote in parliament). This government claims to act in the name of the majority. Fine. Then resign and call an election. If what Abhisit says is true, he will have both solved the problem in the streets and strengthened the government.

Second, one has to consider the nature of the threat. If the choice is between massacring hundreds of people and ceding power to a fascist dictator, then perhaps mowing people down might be an option (by that logic, for instance, the Italian government would have done well to consider crushing Mussolini's "March on Rome"). But if the choice is between massacring hundreds of people and having a new election (incidentally, an election under rules designed by your own patrons), I'll choose the latter every time.

Third, we should say something against the nature of this regime. Abhisit has come to power only after the repeated usurpation of the people's will. Rather prominently, his rise to power took place thanks to military intervention and a campaign of protests far more disruptive/costly than these (which, I might add, the previous government handled in a rather more restrained fashion). Abhisit should have recognized long ago that when you live by the sword you die by the sword. Hard for him to now say that the government cannot submit to mob rule when it came to power thanks to mob rule.

So, in conclusion, the general answer to your question is "it depends." But in this case, there is no doubt in my mind that Abhisit would have done everyone a favor (especially himself) had he recognized the illegitimacy of his tenure and had resigned a year or so ago.

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 04:32 PM
Reuters quotes:

"The fact that so many people have died without the army having gained much ground seems like a rather ominous sign," said Federico Ferrara, a political science professor at the National University of Singapore.

"Having already started opening fire on civilians, journalists, emergency medical personnel, and generally everything that moves, the difference between 50, 100, or 200 deaths is just a number on a piece of paper."
...
"His position has been in jeopardy since he ordered the crackdown," said Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.

"He will go down in the Thai history as a leader who ordered the killing of the people, even when it meant saving the country -- and his own power position."
...
"Even if the protesters are dispersed, which obviously will eventually happen, the underlying social tensions and political tensions will not have been resolved, and they will come up again," said Josh Kurlantzick of the U.S.-based think tank, Council on Foreign Relations.

"It's a fallacy for the governmen to think they can just crush this."

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 04:51 PM
http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/j/MSNBC/Components/Slideshows/_production/ss-100410-thailand-protests/ss-100517-bangkok-mw05.ss_full.jpg

scottdisco
18-05-2010, 05:03 PM
"Even if the protesters are dispersed, which obviously will eventually happen, the underlying social tensions and political tensions will not have been resolved, and they will come up again," said Josh Kurlantzick of the U.S.-based think tank, Council on Foreign Relations.

absurdly on the money.

@four_five_one, that Somtow person you are arguing w on Twitter sounds a right clown :mad:

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 05:14 PM
He wrote this: http://www.somtow.org/2010/05/dont-blame-dan-rivers.html really hi-so guy, multiple talents, Dad was a kleptomaniac diplomat and stole stuff from the British embassy in London. Says he's a liberal, but is cheer leading state sponsored murder.

btw is Michael Yon an actual real serious reporter? What's his background? His last 15 or so reports have included the sentence "Thai soldiers are very polite".

vimothy
18-05-2010, 06:17 PM
Yon is ex-US SOF turned war reporter.

scottdisco
18-05-2010, 06:23 PM
that Somtow chap is all over the map. condemns state-sponsored killing when Thaksin was at the top, but minimising now?

jerk.

Yon is for reals. ex-US SF, went into embed writing in Iraq and then Afghanistan.

ahem. think he'd be doing a lot better if he was still in Afghanistan...

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 06:28 PM
Seems his Facebook is full of conservative 'types': http://www.facebook.com/MichaelYonFanPage

"Since April 10, more than 60 people have been killed. At least 36 civilians have died since the second round of clashes erupted last Thursday night. Yesterday, the government ordered three more public holidays in Bangkok so they could get rid of the tens of thousands of protesters holding out at Rajprasong intersection and elsewhere.

Yet some Thais remain indifferent. They go about their daily business as normal, dining and chatting happily while killings continue.

In fact, those opposed to the red-shirt movement even seem to be delighted that the Army is liberally firing live bullets. Few ask where the water cannons, the tear gas, batons, anti-riot police and ear-shattering anti-riot sound disseminator vehicles that the government "promised" to use are. Why are they not being used as weapons to disperse the crowds?

A female yellow-shirt radio host at FM 97.75 station told listeners on Monday morning that 30 deaths "wasn't that much". Newspapers like ASTV-Manager Daily called for the government on Monday to finish off the enemy and urged Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva "not to lose heart".

"Please be more swift and decisive," the paper advised Abhisit.

As more people are being killed, we must acknowledge that everybody, no matter what colours they wear, have friends, relatives and loved ones."

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/home/2010/05/19/politics/Death-toll-more-than-just-statistics-30129685.html

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 07:53 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_KQNsNySYQ

Interesting debate, pretty much sums up the two sides.

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 07:58 PM
Live & direct...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdiQGgFndS4

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 10:11 PM
Chief of Junta PM Abhisit is singing himself sweetly to sleep tonight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCcny7gosYA

Reports of armored vehicles now moving in (unconfirmed).

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 10:55 PM
CONFIRMED: armored vehicles moving to strategic locations. CONFIRMED: troops have left military bases, moving in on Bangkok

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 10:57 PM
Chief of JUNTA PM Abhisit went to Eton where he learned civilization, he shares many of our liberal ethics. It's a "crackdown with kindness".

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 11:03 PM
CONFIRMED: Lge force of troops, trucks, police 7 APCs moving in on protesters.

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 11:12 PM
Don't know if anyone from BBC or CNN is awake to cover this yet. It's 5am. Protest leaders tell protesters to get ready to fight, and ask them if they have protection from gas...

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 11:14 PM
Brave lads are moving in: http://twitpic.com/1oyx44 - Thais love a man in uniform.

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 11:44 PM
Really hope this is true:

[MCOT 5am bkk time] APCs & tanks are merely for reinforcements. Crackdown not yet imminent.

(MCOT is a Thai TV channel)

four_five_one
18-05-2010, 11:53 PM
Richard L Parry from the Times is manning red shirt front lines, to his great credit. Michael Yon is in bed with his teddy.

scottdisco
19-05-2010, 12:01 AM
Richard L Parry from the Times is manning red shirt front lines, to his great credit. Michael Yon is in bed with his teddy.

also, i think RLP might have been in the thick of it in Indonesia during the May '98 riots, to his credit.

not sure what Yon is doing, really. tbh, if he is in Thailand, you'd have thought - frankly, if only given his recent background - he'd take himself off down south, try and listen to local grievances, etc. he's literally rewritten the same story about polite troops about 20 times in the last few days, hasn't he?!

don't forget, Abhisit went to Oxford. we should probably mention that...

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 12:11 AM
Indeed. http://tweetphoto.com/22990012 APC'S moving in... speculation that it's still just a show of force, not a crackdown. Red shirts have been raving to deep house & techno apparently.

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 12:18 AM
Thai troops on loudspeakers say: 15 minutes to get out or we're coming in... rumors of tanks in the vicinity too. Red shirts fight back with homemade rockets. Bet they're wishing they're an armed movement now...

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 12:23 AM
Chopper support, tear gas incoming apparently.

from Thai TV: http://tweetphoto.com/22992932

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 12:29 AM
"Here's how you win a prize for being the world's smallest man.

You send in your military to shoot innocent civilians (37 dead in Bangkok so far - 36 red shirt protesters and 1 soldier - with more than 200 injured) and then you tell people it was "terrorists dressed as soldiers" who did it.

Then, when leaders of the red shirts back down and agree to peace talks if the Thai Senate will mediate them, something they've never agreed to before, you say "Nope".

This is exactly what Abhisit Vejjajiva - the world's smallest man - said today. "Nope".

In fact, Abhisit will agree to nothing until the red shirts leave their downtown protest area (something they will never do as they don't trust Abhisit to follow through on his word). With 37 people dead, the whole city of Bangkok completely shut down, tourist numbers down to a third of what they normally are, and Thailand's economy in shatters, Abhisit will not compromise, he will not waiver in his ridiculous resolve, and he will not "Man Up". (Have you noticed how big men compromise, and little men are stubborn, stupid and, in the end, destroy everything they ever worked for - Napoleon anyone?)

So, as Bangkok continues to crumble, Abhisit Vejjajiva the only Thai prime minister to have a university degree from Oxford, England and, yet the smallest prime minister Thailand has ever had, sits and pouts. "If the game isn't under my rules, I'm not playing".

http://www.examiner.com/x-26647-Asia-Travel-Examiner~y2010m5d18-Thailands-Prime-Minister-Abhisit-Vejjajiva--The-worlds-smallest-man?cid=exrss-Asia-Travel-Examiner

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 12:32 AM
live Reuters feed: http://live.reuters.com/Event/Bangkok_protests

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 12:37 AM
This is going to be an even worse clusterfuck than anyone could imagine.

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 02:34 AM
Siam insurrection - or Siam slaughter? Chaos at the moment. Army in full flow but protesters resisting.

Have reached my twitter limit too (just at the crucial time...).

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 04:03 AM
Michael Yon has just woken up. Repeated three times he's heard something has happening. Going to ask soldiers "how they're doing". Also "praying for Thailand".

Some great updates from Michael's hotel room... yet people are hanging on his every word. Apparently he's reporting the real truth that CNN won't reveal. Despite Dan Rivers being out there all morning...

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 05:38 AM
Nattakorn Devakula reckons it's all bad whatever happens: "clearly this demonstrates the government have no ability to govern." But thinks elections can't be held now either... too volatile. Maybe an interim PM accepted by both sides (my suggestion)?

Army has broken down first lot of barricades into the main protest site... closing in on the center of the protests where the women and children are. Red shirt leader has just ordered all children to be removed... says he didn't think it'd come to this, doesn't know what's gone wrong. At least 3 dead (protesters) so far, and once again international media ppl have been injured. BBC's Alistair Leithead reported to have been shot at with an M-16 wielded by black shirts... Think he's OK though. Maybe first sighting of the infamous black shirts? Yet to be confirmed. Someone is firing back from red side, though, that's for sure. But still massively disproportionate.

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 05:51 AM
Can confirm one foreign journalist dead. No idea who.

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 06:17 AM
Al-Jazeera has best coverage btw: http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 06:46 AM
One red shirt leader has escaped the stage by wearing a long haired wig. Government posted number to ring if anyone sees him. He's been spotted roaming around some bushes in the park, god knows what he's doing...

In another news Michael Yon... haha just kidding, hope no one minds me breaking the tension a bit with that joke.

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 11:42 AM
Guess the touch paper has been lit literally and metaphorically... could this lead to a protracted de facto civil war?

scottdisco
19-05-2010, 11:53 AM
i can't believe that at least 3 dozen protestors have been killed by troops at the behest of a murkily crowned govt, in the middle of the renowned world city capital of this large, economically powerful, generally stable (in terms of outright conflict; i am setting this up as a direct opposition to the two countries Yon is most associated w working in: subtle aren't i?!) country, and all Michael Yon can seem to do is witter on about the Thai military's table manners (and he's not even getting that right)

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 12:06 PM
Reds have been dispersed btw... sporadic violence continues in Bangkok. Insurrection in provinces. Total media blackout. Central World burned to the ground... all for the sake of avoiding elections...

The people that hated the red shirts are looking at this with a smug sense of vindication, although it was almost inevitable after the leaders were arrested. Don't they know anything about mobs? I think they need to take responsibility themselves instead of continually calling others terrorists and animals. It wasn't a movement to overthrow the state, all they wanted was an election...

Wonder if Abhisit will resign to take "responsibly"? That was certainly on the cards if the crackdown went wrong. I think this amounts to the crackdown going wrong... couldn't go right, really, could it?

scottdisco
19-05-2010, 12:23 PM
jesus christ. total media blackout? Thailand of old...


The people that hated the red shirts are looking at this with a smug sense of vindication

definitely. twisted. lot of cold, cold hearts among those Thais happy w the status quo/elite.

so a week ago the PM said he would negotiate. then all of a sudden he drops that and is happy to authorise massacre (cheerled by his technocrats and plenty of his voters, it seems).

what happened? was he in bad faith all along do you think four_five_one?

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 12:39 PM
Hard to say if it was bad faith, but he could've pulled out of the electoral process at any time if he deemed that any of his "conditions" hadn't been met. Plus he's had a gun to his head, he couldn't have held elections now if he wanted to. Many in the military and his Democrat party didn't accept his road map, so military could've just disposed of Abhisit and installed another lackey, who could say "That was Abhisit's plan, not mine". Still think they should've took the offer and held Abhisit to his word. Other hand, what they asked the government for were fairly reasonable: an investigation into government role into April 10th killings, let up the censorship, and an exact date for house dissolution.

House should've been dissolved at least a month ago, and an interim PM acceptable to both sides should've taken over until heads had cooled and a relatively peaceful election could be held. But the government have got what they want in a way, because the red shirts come out of this looking totally discredited. Although I think red shirt leaders deserve some credit for giving up and preventing a slaughter, imo. The government probably think they've won, but as someone on twitter said earlier "For me there are no winners, just losers".

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 01:10 PM
Thailand never experienced riots like this in its history...

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 01:17 PM
Al-Jazeera: "Many calling for a militarily solution are now shocked. realities of clearing the protest much different from what they imagined" no shit... Academic just been on says there's never been more political violence or widespread unrest - ever - in Thailand. hmm...

Government spokesman Panitan: "Thailand is about to return to its normal state."

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 01:28 PM
Bit of a truism, but shopping centers can be built again. Idiots comparing it to 9/11... no one was inside. Says something that there's far more people mourning the burning of a shopping center owned by billionares, than people mourning deaths of children.

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 01:46 PM
Meanwhile protesters trucked off to military concentration camp, will they see the light of day again? Very few would stop the military right now if they just shot them all in the head: http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/04LU6Xm6mfb0Y/610x.jpg

http://www.daylife.com/photo/0daR1kvcHHgMT?q=bangkok+protest

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 02:18 PM
What's clear so far is that red shirt leaders potentially saved 100s of lives, by giving up and telling protesters to "give up, save your lives".

BBC interview with finance minister Korn: "does the offer to dissolve in Nov still stand?" Korn: "it never... (corrects himself) it has not stood for several days"

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 02:22 PM
Canadian journo apparently trapped near a temple with some protesters: 'Thais in temple begging me to take them out. "You can go, right? Take me!" Also "Is the UN coming?"'

"At least five wounded around me at makeshift medical centre in park behind Wat Patum temple, one a friend and colleague.. gunfire continues"

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 02:31 PM
Pictures from today: http://tnews.teenee.com/politic/50814.html (graphic)

Insurrection continues to spread countrywide. It hasn't been building up for weeks or months, but years.

Death toll definitely higher than reported so far, reporter from temple: "Medics around me say 7 dead 10 injured inside Wat Patum temple, which was supposed to be sanctuary. I'd guess 1500 to 2000 terrified ppl"

Justin Wintell on Al-Jazeera right now "Are you talking civil war?" "Yes, I am"

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 02:52 PM
http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0c0feXK5ZQfX4/610x.jpg

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 02:55 PM
Funny they think the UN would come LOL. Like anyone in the outside world gives a fuck.

People dying in temple right now because they can't get across the street to get medical access: http://twitpic.com/1p51ix

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 03:29 PM
After the "successful" operation to take retake the site where the destroyed shopping center is situated, troops quicky pulled back out? Why? *Speculation*, they wanted to encourage riots to suit their agenda of completely discrediting the protest movement. *Speculation* certain people have been paid by the government to burn other places around the city. Not completely sure it's true, but it's certainly NOT unlikely. False flag attacks are a continuous tactic in this battle.

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 04:03 PM
lol... http://www.facebook.com/MichaelYonFanPage#!/posted.php?id=207730000664&share_id=122811391074269&comments=1#s122811391074269

"Mike, you need to give a crash course for journalists covering war zones on how to avoid getting killed and injured. Those reporters are getting killed left and right." well, if you don't go anywhere near the violence...

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 04:07 PM
Still fighting at the temple... Andrew Buncombe from the Independent was there, no one's heard from him for two hours. M.I.A. Hope he's OK...

UPDATE: All injured out of the temple in ambulances (thanks to twitter according to the journo that was there). No word of Andrew Buncombe though.

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 04:26 PM
http://tinyurl.com/2wyawp2 would imagine my comments at the bottom here will be taken very badly =( Someone needs to be a voice of reason. As someone said earlier if brother & sister are fighting, who needs to take responsibly? Unfortunately Daddy loves one of his children more in this case.

(btw i've already received spam and death threats from government supporters because I dared to suggest that the BBC might not be in the pay of Thaksin.)

scottdisco
19-05-2010, 04:34 PM
well said James. :( at your spam and threats.

incidentally, i am astonished that some people (i've seen it myself on blogs) appear unable to grasp the devastatingly simple premise that you can support what the redshirts stand for whilst also being critical of Thaksin.

it doesn't make you a shill for him.
unbelievable!

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 04:37 PM
Yep, but as I say... that's a result of the media war. btw I wasn't suggesting I'm the voice of reason, I'm saying the person with the most responsibility should man up... (btw it's possible you could be arrested for what I just said in the last sentence in Thailand).

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 05:16 PM
Counting the friends I've lost over this on more than one hand now. Course I could've just ignored it. But it's hard when you feel passionate. Human rights are a universal issue imo.

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 06:06 PM
"Politics 101: Make them so afraid they'll love you forever. Put your mind in the head of the person governing the apparatus. It's the simplest formula in governing a state. The average person is not aware of this because they can't imagine how vicious one has to be."

Recommend everyone check out this guy's last page or two of tweets for an alternative theory (and more likely): https://twitter.com/KhunPleum

There are right wing death squads, a de facto coup has already taken place and a conspiracy unravels. Whilst the middle classes mourn a shopping center and bay for revenge. Anyone that questions the truth will be repressed. No one will question the repression as the sheep swallow everything they're fed. Dark, dark times...

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 07:19 PM
Terrorist taken out by brave Thai army:

http://inapcache.boston.com/universal/site_graphics/blogs/bigpicture/thai_05_19/t38_23466861.jpg

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 07:35 PM
Video - protest crushed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4sdHXgcN0M

"He said that earlier in the afternoon he witnessed a Thai man being shot by the military just metres from the temple.

"I saw the bullet come straight out of the other side of his chest and he just dropped to the ground," he said.

When he and a monk went to help the man, Tickner said, they were also shot at.

"They knew I was a foreign journalist - they saw my cameras," he said.

"We were worried that the man was going to bleed to death on the pavement - we couldn't just leave him there."

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/australian-reporter-hides-out-in-bangkok-temple/story-e6frg6so-1225868915779

polystyle desu
19-05-2010, 08:13 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/20/world/asia/20thai.html?hp

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 09:25 PM
Thanks Polystyle. Right wing newspaper commentator for The Nation (Thai government propaganda rag) has just called for the government to set up vigilante groups of "concerned citizens". Jesus, it just gets worse. Seems people want a full replay: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Gaur

"Let's do it. We bangkokians can help protect the city. Govt should consider organising full-scale vigilante programme." http://twitter.com/tulsathit/status/14311236116

He also said earlier that the burning of Central World Mall is "our 9/11, but worse. Since our own people did it to us." 9/11 deaths 3000, central world deaths 0. Absolutely no condemnation from him of the death of innocents, but plenty of tears for the soldiers.

More than a "million" morons are hysterical and shrill about the mall: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=115310218489277&v=wall

No facebook group calling for someone to take responsibility for the killing, yet...

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 10:16 PM
"The red-shirt protesters who massed in Bangkok more than two months ago don't accept that they can be excluded from playing an active part in the modern life of the nation. They are angry because Mr. Thaksin was overthrown in a military coup in September 2006. And they are angry that their peaceful post-coup votes in 2007 were also disregarded when Mr. Thaksin's allies were forced out of government by the yellow-shirt occupation of Bangkok's airport and the Constitutional Court's dissolution of the governing party. They don't accept the legitimacy of the way current Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was maneuvered into power by his royal, judicial and military backers. But most fundamentally, via the red shirts, rural Thailand is vigorously asserting its right to be represented in decision-making about the country's future development.

"In Thailand, iconic images of national unity often feature King Bhumibol Adulyadej dispensing royal wisdom and benevolence to crouching peasants. These images celebrate a model of elite patronage, with livelihood support wisely granted by the king and his loyal bureaucracy. These old ideas are certainly enduring, especially in Mr. Abhisit's staunchly royal governing party, but they have much less potency in the modern rural world of contract farming, off-farm employment and mobile phones.

Mr. Thaksin's populism encouraged new ways of thinking about power and participation. Mr. Abhisit may succeed in sweeping the red shirts out of Bangkok, but with the Thai understanding of legitimate power taking on a much more inclusive flavor, they will certainly be back."

Thailand's farmer's have stood up: http://url4.eu/3Zg9i

four_five_one
19-05-2010, 11:10 PM
"For Mr Abhisit, who always seemed such a decent man, this is a victory, but a victory of which he can only decently feel ashamed."

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article7131331.ece

Big up Richard L. Parry who stood at the front lines with protesters.

four_five_one
20-05-2010, 06:49 AM
1000 people trapped inside temple for over a day (was supposed to be a refuge) escape this morning. They were pinned down by snipers - likely right wing vigilantes - in a military controlled zone. Ten dead.

What is becoming clearer from speaking to various sources is that red shirts are highly unlikely to have started all those fires (some perhaps, but not the majority). Military was complicit in the fires starting.

In other news, Michael Yon seems to be part of the cover up operation... he's friends on twitter with an extreme right wing fascist PAD soldier. Why? They must know each other from before... Michael has been to Thailand before. Interestingly, on Michael's Facebook page, my slightly dissenting comments were immediately deleted, yet kooky conspiracy drivel (Thaksin was behind it all... change the record, please) is allowed to stay up.

I can't completely commit to this analysis. The truth is murky. However, if Thaksin did order the burning, it would benefit him in no way whatsoever. Also the buildings burnt all belong to his friends. And the TV Channel that was burnt is the most sympathetic to the red shirts... no way they'd single it out.

four_five_one
20-05-2010, 11:20 AM
Michael Yon thinks this is hilarious: http://bit.ly/cOKL1Y -- his latests "reports" have been that and the fact that "Tampons are hard to find in Bangkok". People on his FB page love it, saying "please tell the truth about those terrorists that love Thaksin, not our dear King"... he's blocked me from his comments. Surprise.

In real news, some actual journalists (and very brave I might add) are in Thailand. Andrew Buncombe is pretty pissed off at the Thai government after being shot by their troops: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/thailand-crisis-dodging-bullets-at-a-buddhist-temple-1977647.html

"Precisely which positions the firing was coming from was unclear and why the troops would be shooting so widely, with so little caution, was unclear. Was it coming from snipers or from the regular troops? It seems almost certain it was coming from the troops. And who within the chain of command was ordering troops to fire so recklessly, so close to so many people, the vast overwhelming majority of whom were unarmed, unthreatening and who – as they had been asked by the authorities – had just left their place in the city centre. Had they had an opportunity to leave, safely, then they would have. Everyone recognised this was the end of their struggle, or at least this stage of it. Pressing, vital questions need to be answered by the highest levels."

Haven't read the comments but I'm sure many are saying he's lying and paid by Thaksin. Just like "Red Rivers" - Dan Rivers from CNN - is critized for reporting the death toll. That's right, people don't like it when FACTS are used. They prefer Michael Yon tripping off his head and rambling on about tampons, miles away from anywhere where anything is going on.

Here are the awesome array of "terrorist weapons" the army found: http://twitpic.com/1pb8lg/full

four_five_one
20-05-2010, 11:55 AM
Federico Ferrara:

Here are some comments I offered in a short email interview with a Reuters correspondent in Bangkok.


1. What happens from here. Do the red shirts go underground with their leadership now detained (or in the case of Seh Daeng, killed)? In some ways they had very much a top-down leadership structure with the main leaders rotating on stage almost daily to rally their groups of supporters. Now with that structure lost, can they continue to mobilise in the way that they have in recent weeks? Or are they such a grass roots organisation that they can simply continue with their leaders locked up?

I did read some speculation that the movement will go "underground" but I think it's premature to speak of this particular outcome. The Red Shirt movement at this point has no reason to do anything but stay well "above ground" and continue to pursue its democratic agenda in a peaceful manner. There could be a bit of a lull in their activities now, but I would expect that if the government keeps their leaders in jail (demonstrating obvious double-standards, compared to the kid-gloves treatment afforded to the PAD in the wake of the airport occupations) it won't be long before this turns into another cause célčbre. The only scenario where I can envision the movement going clandestine is if the government unleashes the kind of paranoid wave of repression that some observers fear (similar to what happened after the 1976 crackdown). But it's simply too early to tell.



2. What does this mean for the Puea Thai Party? Will they be emboldned by the violence in Bangkok or discredited by the unrest, particularly in the north and northeast?

My view is that the UDD and Peua Thai are most vulnerable to losing some of the support they enjoy among middle-class voters in Bangkok and the Central Region. In the North and the Northeast, I don't think that either the UDD or Peua Thai will suffer that much. The people in the provinces aren't likely to shed any tears for the fact that some rich punk in Bangkok can no longer shop at CentralWorld when dozens of people "like them" lay dead at the hands of the government. If anything, those in the North/Northeast who already sympathize with the Red Shirts will likely react with justifiable disgust at the sight of upper class and upper-middle class citizens/media in Bangkok who are making such a scene out of mourning the loss of a shopping mall while they continue to shrug off (and in some cases celebrate) the murder of 80 people.



3. What does this mean for Abhisit. He now in some ways is tarnished by being so closely involved in a bloody crackdown that has cost many lives. Does that hurt him? Or is he seen as a leader who restored order to a capital under threat protesters whose demands began to be seen by many across the country as unreasonable as the days wore on?

On the issue of Abhisit, I believe that what I said a few days ago still stands. To paraphrase the observations I offered to you on May 16, my guess is that Abhisit is finished already, as he is irreparably tarnished by the brutality with which his government dealt with these demonstrations-- not to mention the deluge of lies it has told to slander its opponents or cover up its own responsibility for what may well turn out to have been (based on official figures at least) the worst massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in the history of Thailand. I said before that I thought Abhisit would be thrown overboard when his patrons switch from crackdown mode to "reconciliation" mode (of course, by "reconciliation" they only mean restoring the lumpenproletariat's long-lost acquiescence). Abhisit is now too spent a force and too polarizing a figure to offer any hope that he can successfully carry out this (or indeed any kind of) "reconciliation." That said, it's anyone's guess when exactly he will be forced/pressured/allowed to leave office. Some say he will be gone soon. Others think the Constitutional Court will force him out (maybe in a couple of months). Others still maintain that it would be too messy/risky to change a government now, so he will stay on as a lame duck (more like a dead duck) until the military re-shuffle is completed. There are good arguments in favor of each of these scenarios, so I'm not sure exactly how this plays out in the near term. Regardless, he is done. At this point, he is a mere placeholder.

four_five_one
20-05-2010, 09:09 PM
Interesting to compare this Thai newspaper's take on the temple attacks, with The Independent's... pretty much a lesson in propaganda and disinformation:

"Col Sansern also said that there were attempts to attack protesters taking at Wat Pathumwanaram, in Ratchaprasong, where more than 5,000 red-shirts took refuge on Wednesday.

Six bodies were found inside a Thai Red Cross Society tent inside the temple grounds, he said.

According to reports, the victims were killed by war weapons as they tried to leave the temple for Pathumwan intersection, where the CRES had prepared buses for protesters to go home, Col Sansern said.

It was believed they were killed between 5pm and 6pm on Wednesday. Security personnel and police were still unable to enter the area at the time, he said."

It clearly tries to suggest that the red shirts were shooting themselves. Just glad international journalists were there to document it.

"In Bangkok, there have been attempts to set fires at 39 places including government offices, private properties, television stations," Col Sansern said.

Efforts to put out the fires had been hampered by gunmen attempting to attack the firemen, he said.

Col Sansern then showed a video clip showing red-shirt leader Natthawut Saikua telling protesters, "Burn them, brothers and sisters. I will be the only one taking responsibility."

The Natthawut speech they're showing is a very, very old speech. And it's taken out of context. He actually says: "if there's another coup, burn them, brothers & sisters."

But this makes it sound like he's just ordered it to happen...

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/178550/more-red-leaders-surrender-as-riots-continue

four_five_one
20-05-2010, 10:14 PM
Distressed Thai woman on Facebook just asked Michael Yon "Can you tell me what to think? I really don't believe this."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHYyuMt_89I

No one believes anything CNN says even if they quote the official death toll: One soldier dead, shot by his own side. 80, almost certainly unarmed (unless you count fireworks & the like) protesters. << That's "red propaganda" One red I was speaking to today was so worried, he even thinks he might end up as a refugee... Most of them more scared than angry atm, I feel. I am almost hoping more symbols of decadent capitalism get trashed (not really but would almost be justified, would it not?). Screw them. Let the elites keep Bangkok & the south and the rest of the country can have its own politicians and politics. But then... no rice growers, no servants, no sex workers, no soldiers...

Is there a man in a white shirt with an M-16 at 0:11 here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuVFqkXMh3Q ?

four_five_one
22-05-2010, 01:34 AM
Linking to this article in Thailand could get you jailed: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/king-bhumibol-adulyadej-of-thailand-the-monarch-whose-silence-is-deafening-1979998.html

While the men with the M16s sat outside my door yesterday I telephoned a Thai lawyer friend and asked him, rather naively, whether the soldiers had a right to go through my things.

“They can shoot people on the streets,” he pointed out. “They can certainly search your hotel room.”


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article7133440.ece

This is a great read even for the general political reader, explains a lot: http://www.khikwai.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/VERYTHAI.pdf

Deals with cultural attitudes towards democracy etc.

four_five_one
22-05-2010, 02:41 AM
Please support this group: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/International-Solidarity-for-Thailand/120794617952386?ref=ts

four_five_one
22-05-2010, 02:43 AM
Political show trials: http://nganadeeleg.blogspot.com/2010/05/hiatus-ended.html

four_five_one
23-05-2010, 06:39 PM
That's it, reds are worse than sex offenders (& so is Red Rivers): DAENG RIVER why he soooooo bad? Red are sex offenders as well as terrorist uneducate thug nak leng gangster violent buffalo water lizard ship is missing well guess kill them alll!!!!!!!!!!! daeng river must die!!!!! he is worst than sex offender!!!!! http://www.bangkokpost.com/life/education/37609/breaking-news

"satire": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38quBV7EKdY

Professor arrested without charge: http://blockmeifyoucan.blogspot.com/2010/05/blog-post_23.html (he is a socialist... guess they thought he'd suddenly turn into Subcommandante Marcos)

Independent journalist shot inside temple (paid off by Thaksin to lie about it): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv0bpnXEmW8

Andy Kershaw pinned down by sniper (another Thaksin lackey!): http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article7134118.ece

Uneducate "red student" attacked by righteous Padshists who love the King! - http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=2010052116192036

Meanwhile if you even mention this Daeng Siam group, you'll land up in jail... curfew still in place, designed to make sure people are home while they get searched and interrogated.

four_five_one
23-05-2010, 06:56 PM
lol ;P http://youtube.com/watch?v=vL5mfn_P1i4&feature=related

four_five_one
23-05-2010, 06:59 PM
Wonder how much Thaksin slipped the Economist?

four_five_one
23-05-2010, 07:03 PM
Well that Economist video explains everything. Must watch.

four_five_one
23-05-2010, 09:06 PM
CRES is looking thru this thread now. Expect Dissensus to be blocked in Th soon.

scottdisco
23-05-2010, 09:17 PM
My name is Nattawut Saikua and i claim my 30 baht

scottdisco
23-05-2010, 09:30 PM
oops, you are, even...

what is going on w this professor, four_five_one? that was mentioned earlier elsewhere.

is he going to present himself to the authorities tomorrow, yes?

madness.
:slanted:

four_five_one
23-05-2010, 09:35 PM
I'm sure he has no choice...

However you and I will enjoy our Thaksin spoils!

four_five_one
23-05-2010, 09:36 PM
Why was he arrested? http://www.nationmultimedia.com/home/2010/05/08/politics/Chula-history-prof-files-defamation-suits-against--30128820.html

four_five_one
23-05-2010, 09:39 PM
http://politicalprisonersofthailand.wordpress.com/2010/05/22/order-reconciliation-repression/

scottdisco
23-05-2010, 09:55 PM
I'm sure he has no choice...

oh gosh yes, that's what i meant too.

i presume the suits he filed got tossed aside?

four_five_one
23-05-2010, 09:57 PM
Immediately. Didn't stand a chance.

four_five_one
03-06-2010, 08:56 PM
Thought I'd post up this inspiring speech by one of the red shirt leaders:

"We're denied many things. We’re denied justice; respect in the way governmental bodies treat us; accurate and direct reporting about us in the media. We’re denied the chance to openly declare our fight – to openly and directly declare, with our clarity and sincerity, what it is that we are fighting for.

What’s most important for us all to remember, brothers and sisters, is that we are the salt of the earth. We are the people with no privileges.

We were born on the land. We grew up on the land. Each step that we take is on this same land. We stand, with our two feet planted here, so far away from the sky.

Tilting our heads fully upwards, we gaze at the sky, and we realise how far away that sky is.

Standing on this land, we only have to look down to realise that we are worth no more than a handful of earth.

But I believe in the power of the redshirts. I believe our number is growing day-by-day, minute-by-minute. Even though we stand on this land, and we speak out from our place among the earth, our voice will rise to the sky. Of this I have no doubt."

Nattawut Saikua (now jailed, branded a major terrorist).

four_five_one
03-06-2010, 08:57 PM
"The government has forced us to put down our hoses and pick up guns instead," says Sa-at, a rice and cassava farmer who took part in the Bangkok protests. "The land will go up in flames."

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1992244,00.html