Are we witnessing a huge propaganda operation ?

Yes the soldiers are marching and yes they are opening fire, since monday morning.

It is a crackdown. After hours of uncertainty (caution ?), it seems that the government has eventually decided to start the repression against the protesters.

What is striking is the huge efforts made by the government to minimize… its own operations. They seem to know that public perception is going to be a key factor during the struggle.

We have several pictures, videos that show the soldiers shooting… But meanwhile few details about casualties. Official figures are at :

2 people dead and 120 wounded.

But not a word… on the nature of the wounds…

Meanwhile :

Army Spokesman Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd dismissed reports that soldiers who dispersed the red shrits in many areas used live bullets and have killed many protesters.

In a live broadcast, Sansern said the soldiers used blank bullets and fired into the air as warning shots.

“Reporters and camera men who accompanied the troops are our witnesses to prove that we used only blank bullets on the protesters. We also used practise bullets which created loud noise. The protesters distorted these, claiming that the soldiers fired live bullets and killed many protesters,” he said. (Nation)

So here is the theory : they are firing blank bullets. 😉

But in this case, why some soldiers are firing UP and other STRAIGHT forward ?

And if soldiers are firing blank bullets, why the protesters roll back ?

And what would be the point to send the army on the ground… with blank ammunitions, for crowd control and to enforce the emergency decree and to crackdown on the Reds ?

army1

army6

(click on the picture)

army8

(blank bullets ?)

It is of course totally grotesque and absurd (but what could we expect from a military spokesman ?).

Here is a report of the BBC. report of CNN (morning). And another video (YouTube).

And then :

18.40: Former premier Thaksin Shinawatra gave an interview on CNN. He claims military is trying to cover up deaths of red-shirt protesters.
19.00: PM Abhisit Vejjajiva gave a telephone interview to deny claims by former premier Thaksin Shinawatra that his government is undemocratic. (TOC)

Thailand can’t afford the world to see thai soldiers shooting their own fellow citizen in the streets of Bangkok like rats. Thailand is not Burma. Yet. Thailand 2009 is not like 1992 (when the army did shot).

Sneaky, vicious, deception, false-flag… you name it : those are the other “colors” of the Black Songkran 2009.

And it’s going to be a burden for the country.

*********************

[end of live blog. Time to go to sleep. The bloggers based in Thailand will soon resume their work. Watchout with the situation at Government House, where the Red Shirts are surrounded by the army. There could be an assault…]

4 AM

You should watch the very impressive (and high quality image) report from Channel 4.

-soldiers shooting on a bus. And this time, it’s sure, it’s live ammo.
-the vicious attack against a Red Shirt woman (by a photograph)
-plus footages of the Ding Daeng assault monday morning
-plus interview of Jakrapob (Red Shirt leader), etc.

1h30 AM

Something I didn’t see on thai media… !

Speaking in exile from Dubai, Mr Shinawatra said: “No one else can provide peace except the King now.

“I urge his Majesty, please kindly intervene, because otherwise the military and the government will kill more people. Now they cover up everything – the local newspapers spread all the lies.”
(Sky News)

1h20 AM

The United States said Monday it condemned the “unacceptable violence” by anti-government protesters in Thailand.

“We’re watching the situation in Thailand very closely and condemn… this unacceptable violence by the protesters,” State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters.

He said the United States urged the “protesters and their leaders to forswear additional … use of violence, to exercise their right to assembly, but… to do so … peacefully.” (AFP)

1 AM

New official figures :

Two men were killed and 120 others injured in a day of violence. (AFP)

00h00

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Monday night that the authorities have managed to put the situation in the city mostly under control. In his national television address, Abhisit said the “mission was almost completed”.
He reiterated his intention to “return peace to Thai society” before the end of the Songkran holiday on Wednesday.
(Nation)

“Most of the unrest has been suppressed, except the rally around Government House. The government still adheres to its policy of leniency, and using negotiations to avoid any loss of life,” he said. (Channel News Asia)

That reminds me… another famous, albeit american, “mission accomplished” ! 😉 Abhisit sticks to his reputation : he continues to embarrass himself and his country.

Maybe he should explain us… what will happen in a few days ? In a few weeks ? The Red Shirts are going to vanish… ? The social and political divide is going to disappear ? !

The alleged Prime Minister gave us a good laugh with his famous “political stability has returned ” (during the G20)… So we should remain cautious about his… “mission almost accomplished “.

Abhisit continues to bend reality with his desires. He continues to live in Lalaland. He continues to believe in the Potemkin Village… the one he is building himself. Laboriously.

The political crisis will continue. There is nothing he can do about it.

11h30 PM

There is a real infowar. I can confirm some info given by readers.

The thai government is blocking several websites, that are supporting Red Shirts, or criticizing the government or the army.

Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) is blocking :

thaienews.blogspot.com
www.justin.tv/nationsiam
http://uddtoday.ning.com

And it happened tonight. It’s not new. MCIT is blocking, quietly, thousands of websites in Thailand (look my archives, websites with pornography, national security, lese-majeste blablabla). Some with a warrant… Many other without. And the disturbing point is that this censorship didn’t change… with governments… The Junta started… Followed by Samak… And now Abhisit.

The dirty thai politicians have found a clear advantage in this system… 😉

But today the MCIT list is definitely… going longer…

10h PM

In a Muslim-dominated neighborhood on Phahon Yothin road, a clash between protesters and residents erupted. Hundreds of protesters threw objects at residents, burnt tires, went into the mosque and tried to set some food stalls in the area on fire. Residents came out with wooden sticks and a fight broke out.

In the evening, three women wearing red shirts were beaten up by at least six drunken men about a few kilometers from Government House, said Police Spokesman Col. Suporn Pansua. (AP)

9h45 PM

Red-shirted protesters shot a person dead and injured two others when residents of the Nang Lerng Market came out to criticise the protesters, PM’s Office Satit Wongnontaey said. (Nation)

“according to eye-witnesses who phoned Satit.” (Nation).

9 PM

BRUSSELS (AFP)–The European Union Monday expressed “great concern” at the situation in Thailand, where violent clashes between troops and anti-government protesters in Bangkok left dozens wounded.

A statement said the E.U.’s Czech presidency “notes with great concern the ongoing violent disturbances in Thailand, including attacks on ministries, which led the Government to declare the state of emergency.

“The Presidency strongly calls on the protesters to refrain from further violent action in the street, which can only deepen the tensions and risk to increase the harm to the stability and the reputation of their country.

“The Presidency hopes that the political divide will be solved through dialogue and by democratic, parliamentary means, within the framework of the Constitution.”

83 Responses to “Are we witnessing a huge propaganda operation ?”


  1. 1 Mr. Discobbolos 13 April 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Are we witnessing a huge propaganda operation?

    Certainly ‘yes’ with articles like this in the Nation:

    Round Four: Reds in Retreat
    By Tulsathit Taptim

    The red-shirted movement and government crackdown have put Thailand on a crucial juncture. How will the country emerge from the Black Songkran?

    The red shirts are retreating politically as much as logistically and strategically. It has been a day when the movement risks shrinking back to its very core. Public sympathy, which has been on a decline since the collapse of the Asean summit, is apparently at its lowest on Monday,……..

    http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2009/04/13/headlines/headlines_30100456.php

  2. 2 antipadshist 13 April 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Propaganda !

    oh, have no doubt about it !

    at the moment Suthep is talking LIVE on TV.
    he says – “no any dead in hospitals”

    hahaha ! what a f*cker !

    of course there are non dead in hospitals – they died ON THE STREETS, and quickly taken out by well trained army strecthers by trucks outside Bkk.

    some local Newspaper Matichon has posted something, and MICT blocked it too :

    http://thaiopinions.blogspot.com/2009/04/matichon.html

    if one tries to open this link in Thailand –
    he will get instead : http://w3.mict.go.th/

    DEMOCRATIC Abhisit ? 😉

    Thaksin at lest spoke to CNN about government covering up deaths.

    Ex-Thai Leader Accuses Government Of Covering Up Deaths
    http://www.easybourse.com/bourse-actualite/marches/ex-thai-leader-accuses-government-of-covering-up-deaths-649925

    hopefully some non-biased international reporters will do proper investigative journalism, unlike WORTHELSS THai so called “media” – and find the true facts about KILLED people !

    SHAME on ABhisit and his “Democrat party” !!!
    using soldiers with guns on protesters.

    even in Georgia at the moment Saakashvili, who faces the same rallies and who has heavily cracked donw on protesters back in 2007 – he does NOT use soldiers to fire on protesters !

  3. 3 fall 13 April 2009 at 1:31 pm

    As I said before…
    Round one, stalemate.
    Tonight round two, with the RED not playing the full deck, I predict a shoot out with army win.
    Tonight is their last chance for suppression. If there is round three, the army will lost. When the body start piling up, it’s hard to look the other way. But, sure, the last time Burmese soldiers shoot monks to sh*t and no one cares.

    Of course, soldier use only blank round and tear gas. But blank round does not cause injury, so it must be those tear gas or rioter must be bashing their head to the wall. No loss of limbs and death due to tear gas this time? Hmm…

  4. 4 George P Tuckeer 13 April 2009 at 1:40 pm

    The propaganda seems to be working as far as some of my neighbors are concerned. They insist that most of the injured are soldiers!

    About the bullets: you see (my neighbors tell me), the soldiers are using ‘practice bullets’, ones where the head is made from paper. Yes, paper.

    How does paper fire out of a gun without burning up, I ask.

    Blank stare.

    Then: Ok, it burn up, THAT’S why the protesters aren’t getting hurt!

    Not everyone’s buying this of course, but I’m surprised at how many are.

    In talking about this thing I have to be careful to be discreet, ask questions only, avoid giving opinions and know when to stop asking; no point painting anyone in a corner and making an enemy.

  5. 5 ThaiCrisis 13 April 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Georges : In a way you apply the socratic method : maieutics… 😉

    That’s good.

  6. 6 Mr. Discobbolos 13 April 2009 at 1:58 pm

    @George Re: Paper bullets.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7996845.stm

    Army spokesperson Colonel Sansern Kaewkamnerd said they were not firing real bullets.

    “If the protesters show that that they intend to hurt the officials, we will use military training rifles on them with blank bullets MADE FROM PAPER, which will not hurt the protesters.”

  7. 8 Mr. Discobbolos 13 April 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Blank cartridges frequently contain a paper or plastic plug which seals the powder in the case called a wad.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blank_(cartridge)

    See under ‘Safety’

  8. 9 George P Tuckeer 13 April 2009 at 2:31 pm

    >ThaiCrisis
    >13 April 2009 at 1:52 pm
    >Georges : In a way you apply the socratic method : >maieutics…
    >That’s good.

    My grandfather always thought me: why argue when you can charm; a little sugar takes the edge off. 🙂

  9. 10 George P Tuckeer 13 April 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Philip Bowring, the writer of the following piece is a respected journalist from HK whose analysis I have always found to be brilliant and lucid:

    “There could yet be a silver lining to the crisis. It might still convince enough of the yellow shirts that demands for a full democracy will not go away, and enough of the red shirts that democracy unchecked by law easily leads to tyranny — and both of them that Thailand needs a monarch who is symbol of the entire nation.”

    full piece at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/14/opinion/14iht-edbowring.html?_r=1&hpw

  10. 11 Thai Insanity 13 April 2009 at 2:46 pm

    INJURED UPDATE
    Some 96 people were injured during several rounds of the Thai army crackdown on anti-government protestors in BKK Monday, Doctor Chatri Charoencheevakul, Secretary-General of the Narenthorn Emergency Medical Center told Xinhua late Monday.

    Of the total 96(both security officials & protestors), 1 is severely injured & around 28 other people are moderately wounded.

    All of them had been admitted in 9 hospitals in Bangkok.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-04/13/content_11180855.htm

  11. 12 thaichris 13 April 2009 at 3:06 pm

    The residents of Bangkok get feed up with the RED. Read this:

    About 500 local residents near the Yommaraj Intersection gathered to confront the red-shirted protesters after they set fires on roads.

    They clashed with the protesters after they protesters refused to put out the blazes they set to things used as barricades.

    Meanwhile, vendors and local residents near the Nang Lerng Market gathered to form line to guard their properties and shouted at the red-shirted protesters.

    They shooed away the protesters who threatened to slam their motorcycles at the local residents.

    And this:

    Red-shirted protesters entered Nang Lerng Market Monday evening and pushed the vendors outside.

    The protesters also clashed with the vendors and it had speculation that the protesters would burn set fire to the market.

    1 local was killed and 2 heavily wounded

    And the story at DIN DAENG flat:

    An LPG tanker highjacked earlier by the protesters and driven to the Din Daeng area was found parked nearby King Power headquarters.

    When inspected, it was found the tank contained only vapour. The protesters had earlier parked it near an apartment building and intimidated troops by periodically opening the valve to let gas from the tank. This cause the hurried evacuation of residents from a block of the Din Daeng flats to the nearby Thai-Japan statdium..

    A small group of flat residents angry at the protesters for intentionally releasing the inflammable gas also attacked them with wooden and metal staves.

    Scattered groups of red-shirted protesters elsewhere in inner Bangkok continued to burn car tyres and block roads.

    The people of Bangkok want the RED desperately going out of the town. How can 20-30’000 held 10 million as hostages?

    Maybe the best solution would be to split Thailand into two countries, North-Thailand with the North and the North-East and South-Thailand with Bangkok, the East and the South. The 2 muslin provinces could be give to Malaysia. Thaksin can run North-Thailand and declare himself the reigning Lana King.

  12. 13 thaichris 13 April 2009 at 3:09 pm

    ere is the article of the man shot at Nang Lerng Market:

    Red-shirted protesters shot a person dead and injured two others when residents of the Nang Lerng Market came out to criticise the protesters, PM’s Office Satit Wongnontaey said.

    Satit told Channel 11 that the protesters shot at three people and one was killed while the two others were injured.

    The body was kept at the Central Hospital.

    The man was identified as Pom, 50.

    Satit said the media could check more information at the hospital.

    The RED lost all there credit. They are simple terrorists and criminals.

  13. 14 bedwyr 13 April 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Is it propaganda?

    Ask yourself this:

    Would you believe Abhisit?
    Would you believe Suthep?
    Would you believe Kasit?
    Would you believe an army spokesman?
    Would you believe any Thai?

    Puhlease. They will use all the lies and proaganda they can get their little hands on. They know this is a real fight. They know the stakes. And still no word from the Palace. Odd isn’t it? Only 2 possible conclusions:

    1. The Palace is behind all this.
    2. The Palace is now non-functional.

    Bedwyr

  14. 15 antipadshist 13 April 2009 at 3:17 pm

    TC

    here is one photo on Pantip today:
    (scroll down to comment # 75 )

    http://www.pantip.com/cafe/rajdumnern/topic/P7742217/P7742217.html

    or more precisely:


    also this one, from another angle
    (although with some derogatory remarks by Yellows) :

    another photo:

    good video by Al-Jazeera, at least much more balanced than any local Thai TV news reports because it shows not only government’s version but also Reds’ as well as opinion by Thai HR rep :

    http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=9192624384167309589

    this guy looks dead to me, or at least pretty close to that.

    here on this website there are links to many other videos
    (see Links on the left side under “Latest News”) :

    http://www.goo-online.com/index.php

  15. 16 Thai Insanity 13 April 2009 at 3:18 pm

    One Dead In Protest Violence

    Thailand’s government said one man was killed in protests that raged in Bangkok Monday, saying he was a local resident who clashed with anti- government demonstrators.

    “One hour ago there was a serious clash near Government House between protesters and local residents. Three were shot and one of them died at hospital,” cabinet minister Satit Wongnhongtaey said on local television.

    http://www.nasdaq.com/aspxcontent/NewsStory.aspx?cpath=20090413ACQDJON200904131101DOWJONESDJONLINE000186.htm&selected=9999&selecteddisplaysymbol=9999&StoryTargetFrame=_top&mkt=WORLD&chk=unchecked&lang=&link=&headlinereturnpage=http://www.international.na

  16. 17 MR ? 13 April 2009 at 3:53 pm

    RE: Sir Bedwyr the Wise – Is it propaganda?

    Of cause it is, you know it, we all know it, & No. 1 conclusion looks likely as the uprising threatens their existence.

    Reds will be put down soon. Leaders shall be hunted down & imprisoned for a long time (if they are lucky). The end.

    Abhisit to continue as Prime Minister. Prem to get another medal. And as for Mr. T, his hand is empty.

    Thailand to muddle along until another color coded group is formed to f**k with everyone’s livelihood.

  17. 18 antipadshist 13 April 2009 at 4:05 pm

    http://www.goo-online.com/index.php
    is blocked by MICT already !

    it seems that MICT are doing VERY professional job of METHODICALLY blocking ALL the websites one by one !
    merely because those sources try to provide SOME shred of alternative side of story !

    hey, guys at MICT – HAVE YOU NO SHAME AT ALL ?

    earlier they said they’ll block websites which are offensive to instituion (LM related)

    but NOW ?! WHY all those websites are being blocked? simply because you don’t want people to know what UDD have to say ?

    ABhisit – do you still dare to say that you ensure the FREEDOM of speech in Thailand?

    by the way – this very moment Abhisit is speaking LIVE on local TV again, will Suthep and all his “Democrats” at his side.

    DEMOCRATS my a$$ !

    HYPOCRYTES!

    Reds practically already lost this battle. they will be brutally dispersed, supressed and hunted down, no doubt.

    however there is at leas 1 positive result:
    Abhisit and his “Democrats” has been EXPOSED for what they really are – thanks to their using soldiers with rifles, who shot REAL bullets at protesters.

    I do not accept any BS objections that “Reds hurt soldiers too”. ha ! with stones and sticks agains GUNS and RIFLES ?

    I think Abhisit will only achieve REAL INSURGENCY all over the country from now on.

  18. 19 ThaiCrisis 13 April 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Give me the list of those websites. I’m going to check. I’ve got a live Internet access in Bangkok.

    I did with the first one :

    http://www.goo-online.com/index.php
    is working with True ADSL Bangkok.

  19. 20 George P Tuckeer 13 April 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Thailand’s conflict is no game of simple political allegiances: it is a growing class war between the country’s poor and the old elites
    –Giles Ji Ungpakorn

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/apr/13/thailand-human-rights

  20. 21 DavidB 13 April 2009 at 4:16 pm

    “Are we witnessing a huge propaganda operation ?”
    I’ve been out most of the day, showing some British friends around Bangkok.
    Sure no Palace, Golden Mount etc., but a lot of other things.
    Most Bangkok people seem to be going about their lives as if things are normal.
    In answer to your headline, a simple answer : DEFINATELY.
    But not only what you’ve all been been beating up a storm about.
    No one on this forum has mentioned Thaksin’s pathetic attempts at “propaganda” on CNN & the BBC.
    As for the government – what do you expect ?
    Should they just roll over let you tickle their collective tummies like in the past ?
    You guys need to balacne your views.

  21. 22 ThaiCrisis 13 April 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Well there is a difference, a fundamental one I believe between :
    -propaganda to hide casualties

    -and propaganda to take advantage of the situation, to support his supporters like Thaksin does

    I’m not naive… Both camp try to bend reality.

    But the question is : which reality we are talking about…

    Furthermore, I would like to remind you that state’s propaganda is so powerful, so resilient in Thailand that 35 years after… officials are still denying the massacre of 1976 (hundred of people were butchered). Samak (a friend of Thaksin) is one of them. Look his interview.
    The old guard will never admit the truth.
    And what about the Tai Bak massacre in the South ? Mouths are closed.

  22. 23 antipadshist 13 April 2009 at 4:22 pm

    well, for starters you can check those I gave already.

    also someone else here already mentioned this one :

    thaienews.blogspot.com – it is also BLOCKED

    I am afraid I don’t want to give other links – because MICT are TOO SWIFT !

    just few min ago I’ve mentioned here
    http://www.goo-online.com/index.php

    and it has been blocked SO FAST !

    http://www.justin.tv/nationsiam still shows, people even discuss there in Live Chat, although in Thai.

    I don’t know for how long it will be allowed to show. my bet – MICT will block it too very soon. because some of those people provide / share links to other sources.

    now Thai PBS shows some photos. they also mention about “info-war” going on on internet.

  23. 24 DavidB 13 April 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Like Thanksin saying “they came peacfully, no weapons”.
    Like Thaksin saying he didn’t mean “violent” revolution.
    And of course the biggest Thaksin lie of all:
    “I am not doing this for myself. This is about democracy”………

  24. 25 DavidB 13 April 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Further, what proof do you have that the Government is “lying”?
    Please understand, I am not asking about the morality, should they be lying. If they are, of course that is wrong and they should be exposed for such a terrible fraud.
    But – where’s the proof ?
    This is a familiar argument the reds and Thaksin use a lot.
    So, perhaps I should be careful saying such things……..

  25. 26 ThaiCrisis 13 April 2009 at 4:33 pm

    David : yes those are lies.
    But it shall not be like an “excuse”. Thaksin is lying, so the government can lie too.

    There is not symmetry here.

    Guys, the bottom line is : I’m sorry, maybe it’s because I am an european, but I just can’t stand when a state uses violence against its own citizens.

    For me it’s unbearable.

    Like it was unbearable a few month ago, when there was violence from the police against the PAD (you remember the “gas canisters” drama against the PAD supporters).

    Currently, the thai government is using violence. And this is not excusable.

    Abhisit is Prime Minister. Not Thaksin.

  26. 27 ThaiCrisis 13 April 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Yes, I confirm :
    thaienews.blogspot.com
    and http://www.justin.tv/nationsiam

    are blocked. By MICT.

    Goo Online… is still on line.

  27. 28 DavidB 13 April 2009 at 4:41 pm

    TC I have no arguemnt with what you are saying about a government using “uneccessary” violence.
    But, thus seems beyond that.
    However, I also agree with you that yet another “cover up” wold be a despicable act.
    If it’s true they should go down for it.
    But, I don’t think it’s a good idea to galvanise opinions such as many of those here on “he says” “she says” type of analysis.
    That is why in countries with more sophisticated and transparent legal systems, these matters ofetn take months or years, before they come to trial.
    At this highly emotive time, I am trying to think in a way that is open to all possibilities, until proof is as plain as the nose on your face.

  28. 29 Fonzi 13 April 2009 at 4:46 pm

    antipadshist–

    I think Thaienews may be blocked because it just did a blog about the Nepalese and Thai monarchy.

    Very radical. I haven’t decided to blog the piece in the Independent yet.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/leading-articles/leading-article-thailand-should-remember-nepal-1668035.html

    Up to TC if he wants to post this or not.

  29. 30 antipadshist 13 April 2009 at 4:52 pm

    what weapons? STICKs and STONES against RIFLES and GUNS ?

    and you ask others to be “balanced” ?

    now government is on offensive again – apparently they are arranging many “false-flag” incidents by so called “red-shirts”, who are “tirhd-party”. Suthep already has warned public on TV against further violence by “Reds”. it means – they (Suthep, Newin and army) have already planned all this in advance.

    sure, it is too easy to dress some thugs into Red-shirts and create some gun-shooting of “locals”.

    the BIGGEST mistake and problem of UDD is – they have no professional team of their own reporters, or at least amature photographers and video-men who would record ON THE SPOT all the deaths or collect the REAL evidences to give to WESTERN media ! without such evidences NO ANY MSM (even foreign) will accept some statements as credible !

    I was surprised that UDD has their own “spokesman” Sean Bookpracong – BP has video clip with him talking to Al-jazeera today. Penkair also spoke on phone to CNN, and so did Thaksin.

    but there are no ANY hard evidences ! therefore their version is easily doubtful or even deniable as “spin” – UNLIKE Government’s version of “truth” – with readily and EAGERLY available proofs from hospitals and “official” doctors !

    UDD definetely VERY unprepared in this and poorly orginized.
    Thaksin surely could spare a million or 2 for PROPER team of at least amature “reporters” and PR staff to make sure that the other side of story is provided to the world by UDD.

    it has not been done.

    even Yellow / PAD were much better at that!
    they almost instantly managed to trumpet all over the world injuries and deaths on Oct 7th 2008 at GH.

    UDD must have learned better from PAD, if they decided to adopt PAD’s style !

    but then – what can be expected from predominately “ban-nork” (rurals) peasants, which mostly comprise Reds crowd ?
    Yellow / PAD on the contrary were mostly urban middle class, well versed in internet, most of them hacving digital photo and video cameras and FULLY AWARE of importance of the TIMELY INFORMATION, with credible evidences.

    that is why even 1 death (from gas canister, NOT M16 rifle bullets – as today) they could use as a huge leverage against Somchai !

    UDD leaders have a lot more to learn….

  30. 31 ThaiCrisis 13 April 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Fonzi : I didn’t write this piece. Therefore it’s not my problem. To give a link doesn’t make us responsible. It’s like during the Economist controversy…
    Last summer, I made a small transcript of the infamous speech of Da Torpedo etc. But those are reports.

    I personally never went beyond the line… Well, I think. 😉

  31. 32 Thai Insanity 13 April 2009 at 4:56 pm

    If you search around the site below, Thaksin’s, amongst others, many crimes against humanity are exposed:

    http://www.akha.org/

    You may not be able to access this site from within Thailand? However, if you can (antipadshist) you might change your views of your self proclaimed savior.

    Red, Blue, Yellow, Pink with Green spots…..Sorry, all gullible sheep.

  32. 33 antipadshist 13 April 2009 at 5:08 pm

    @Thai Insanity

    my “savior” ??

    give me a break ! you seems degrade to sticking lables.

    where did I say that Thaksin is my savior?

    yes, I think he has more brains than Abhisit. and surely he is much more popular.

    it doesn’t make me his admirer or supporter.

    my attempts to find out the true facts apparently disturbs you?
    from your last sentence about “colors” – you should have known better than sticking labels at some one !

    because TRUTH has no colors – don’t you think?

    so, I am neither Red nor Yellow, nor Blue.

    I just don’t like PADshists (militant fascisic thugs – not all Yellows) – do you have any problem with that ?

    at the moment the TRUTH or some part of it is – Abhisit’s government DOES use rifles with REAL bullets at its own citizens. and another part of this truth is: they DO block ALL other alternative sources of information.

    what it has to do with me or even Thaksin, huh, Thai Insanity ?
    in fact even with ANY colors ?

  33. 34 Tarrin 13 April 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Amazing, I was watching the interview on Channel 5 (military’s channel) they were interviewing the ARMY VETERAN HOSPITAL (also military own hospital) and you know what the doc said????

    he said “There are about 25 injured, 16 of which are SOLDIERS, and about 9 protesters” is that mean more soldiers got injured than the protesters??

    then he continue “The soldiers injured are causes mostly by bullets while the protesters got injured from being hit from hard objects” ……. I was i bit surprise…. is he real?!?

  34. 35 ThaiCrisis 13 April 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Sure he is real. Real as a military doctor. 😉

  35. 36 Thai Insanity 13 April 2009 at 5:38 pm

    @antipadshist

    Search the site (probably later once the chaos has ended).

    http://www.akha.org/

    Mankind has been eternally troubled in his search for truth. Good luck.

  36. 37 Thai people 13 April 2009 at 5:40 pm

    I agree with the goverment, they do the right things
    and about Taksin, r u feel good huh? Thai peoples killed each other. U used all that protesters to help U come back to Thailand and do U ask for the court to change the verdict from being guilty to be not guilty at all?
    So which means if U have money and power U don’t have to go to jail right? what the hell is that.
    Taksin, U are unacceptable for being Thai civilians.

  37. 39 kahunablogger 13 April 2009 at 5:51 pm

    I don’t know if these are really blank bullets because last night a government spokesperson said in an interview with Al Jazeera, that the military / police has been handed live ammunition. Unfortunately, I don’t recall the name of this spokesperson but perhaps you can find the video somewhere on Al Jazeeras website.

  38. 41 luke 13 April 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Another site that I noticed has been blocked is http://uddtoday.ning.com

  39. 42 ThaiCrisis 13 April 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Yes, it’s blocked. I add this website to my list.

  40. 43 antipadshist 13 April 2009 at 7:10 pm

    TV Ch 3 show LIVE footage of Army ready on stand by near GH, with APC and armed. the final showdonw nears.

    no any website now broadcasting UDD radio – so, there is know way to know what’s going on there except from TV channels, which are mostly controlled by gov. and army.

    although one website (justin) still has a Live Chat and apparently some protesters at GH have laptops and sort of updating directly from there.

    CH 3 reporter showed and commented some fresh video of one guy in WHITE shirt viciously attacked and beaten a hell by a group of 7-8 people (also NOT in any colors as Red or Yellow or Blue ) to unconscious state. although she said – nobody actually knows who was who and why. later some police and medics approached him and taken to some hospital.

    it amazes me though – reporters and by-standers did nothing to interfere and stop it?
    another observation: thugs usually are cowards who attack in pack, when they outnumber someone greatly.

  41. 44 ThaiCrisis 13 April 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Indeed, the situation near Government House must be difficult.
    Abhisit told us that everything was under control…. But he forgot the Government House. How many Red Shirts stay there ? Thousands ?

  42. 45 Thai Insanity 13 April 2009 at 7:36 pm

    @antipadshist: “the final showdown nears.”

    The final showdown FOR NOW – quite possibly.

    Thailand’s internal troubles shall remain unresolved with no sign of any resolution to them in the foreseeable future. Very sad indeed.

    I, and I’m sure all TC readers truly pray for an end soon to the ongoing violent disturbances, lose of life, injuries, deepening of tensions and harm to the stability and the reputation of Thailand.

    Again good luck and stay safe.

  43. 46 antipadshist 13 April 2009 at 7:39 pm

    TC

    here I think is an interesting post from another blog. this woman is talking about NEAUTRAL people at GH and their plight !
    particularly pay attention to the part about danger from those so called “local residents” !
    (which I highly suspect are actually some disguised Yellow / Blue / amry thugs in reality)

    Update from inside the red people.
    http://meawgyver.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/update-from-inside-the-red-people

    “I got several calls from concerned people about people in the red crowd, that were not wearing red and would like to leave the government building and near by areas. According to telephone conversation, people could not leave the compounds, they were surrounded by armed officers who told them that they must stay here or risk being attack from anti- protesters people waiting around the area.

    Could it be possible that some one will pick up the hint and follow up on the condition of the protesters at the government’s building where, according to the call, are women and the elderly, who did not join any activities outside.

    My source has been trying to leave since the last hour and a half and could not negotiate with the officers at the scene.

    I think also on some TV channel it was mentioned that now Army do not allow reporters to get into that area.

    so, looks like givernment / army have a FIRM GRIP on Information COntrol – the TRUE coverage of events.

  44. 47 Tony Cartalucci 13 April 2009 at 7:49 pm

    There might be a cover up, there might not be, the truth might be somewhere between these two packs of known liars….

    Let’s be objective and wait for the evidence.

    Of course these is the strong possibility that most of the soldiers were given blanks, while another, better trained and disciplined squad was given live ammunition. Of course you’d NEVER mix the two in fear of accidentally shooting when you were supposed to be scaring.

    When I was in the Marines, and around 2003 Pakistan and India looked ready to fight, 12th Marines was getting prepared to go evacuate American citizens. We were going to take blanks, while a real infantry unit was going to be given live ammunition. We’d of course have the option of falling back to live ammo – but the idea is to scare away as many skiddish people as possible and only resort to shooting people intent on endangering people’s safety.

    So that’s a possibility no? Clear minds, patience, and objectivity. If the truth is your goal, you can’t pick a side. The moment you do everything is warped through that lens of bias.

  45. 48 Thai Insanity 13 April 2009 at 7:57 pm

    @Tony Cartalucci

    Well written!

  46. 49 antipadshist 13 April 2009 at 8:02 pm

    @Thai Insanity

    about akha dot org – FYI Iknew that site LONG before you suggested me to look at it ! at least 1 year ago, I think or may be even 2 ! so, I know it very well.

    regarding “The final showdown FOR NOW” – sure, I agree, and actually I meant it precisely FOR NOW – the “Mission accomplished”, as Abhisit (or rather Nation ?) puts it.

    these Reds are mostly RURAL people, unlike in 73, 76 and even 92 – and especially 2006-2008 (PAD), who were mostly URBAN people.
    this is FIRST TIME EVER that rural folks raised up.
    they are very unexperienced and naive. certainly they are no match for esteblishmens and army, not even for PAD !

    but the fact is – they have stood up from slumber. and I bet anyone that they not gonna give up even if they lose now.

    what Elite and “Democrats” may actually achieve is – Total insurgency, all over the country. and since they couldn’t handle the situation even in 4 provinces in South (not to mention Communist insurgency back in 70s – only amnesty and certain lenience stopped it) – what to speak then if so many more other provinces will be infected with insurgency ? 😉

    and I am sure Anupong and his army buddies are 100% aware of that, long in advance. that is why even last month when Thaksin’s phone-ins started, Anupong URGENTLY made a deal with “Democrats” who meakly gave to Army 1 billion Baht (how much in comparison is total pathetic Abhisit’s 2000 Baht per person “stimulus” ? ).. because they have started to prepare WELL IN ADVANCE !

    because one credit must be given to army chaps: they DO know what is what usually few moves ahead AND have several plans (A, B, C) AND make sure they have sufficient funds to implement those plans.

    so, I bet they are not only AWARE of the inevitable result (full scale Insurgency all over country) but also are READY for it !

    what we witness right now – is NOT excessive! it is simply a strong message to Reds : WE ARE READY for your next move. in fact for your SEVERAL moves in advance.

    so, I can bet anyone about this scenario.

    unless of course I’ve overestimated Reds (and perhaps haven’t taken into consideration Yellows – they seem now anti-coups 😉 ) and actually it is gonna be something like another Myanmar, if not Chile / Argentina/ NK pretty soon – in other words complete military dictatrship.

  47. 50 davefairtex 13 April 2009 at 8:11 pm

    This whole affair was NOT a protest. These were not protesters. The red group was an invading army. They were looking to install Thaksin as ruler of Thailand, under the guise of “protesting.” This attempt appears to have failed.

    Ultimately, once Thaksin “crossed the Rubicon” and decided on a coup, the Army had to decide to either show up, or let Thaksin become ruler of Thailand.

    About tactics: soldiers are not mindless robots, they are real Thai people in uniform. Sincerely attempting to minimize casualties makes it more likely that your orders will be followed. It would be a simple matter to equip one squad with live rounds, and another with blanks. Live round squad performs overwatch while the blank squad makes noise and supports the charging riot squad. When a bus or taxi becomes a threat to the team, the overwatch squad moves up and takes it out.

    Both sides of this struggle will of course fight the propaganda war as hard as possible. The government will minimize casualties inflicted, and the red protesters will maximize them. Who knows where the truth lies.

  48. 51 Thai Insanity 13 April 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Al Jazeera Video

    http://microdot.gnn.tv/blogs/31745/Live_Video_from_Thailand

    This is a video made by Al Jazeera, with live late breaking footage of protestors and All Jazeera interviewing an “opposition leader” who isn’t quite ready for the big time. He gets a bit walked over. But I think he got his point across.

    The Democratic Party is the party that sold Thailand down the river to the IMF. Just because the “Red Shirts” are hysterical and trigger happy, and Thaksin and Rupert Murdoch claim they adore him, it doesn’t mean they do, in fact, adore Thaksin (who’s NOT famous for keeping his promises) or that they want anything other than a free and fair election.

  49. 52 Mr. Discobbolos 13 April 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Abhisit Vejjajiva won the media battle but the hardest job is yet to come

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6087899.ece

    On Saturday he was made to look like a clown in front of Asia’s most powerful leaders. By Sunday it was hard to believe that he would be around for more than a few days. Yet despite this, yesterday the Thai Government of Abhisit Vejjajiva appeared to be slowing his country’s slither into anarchy.

    Whether this is a temporary lull before more violence, will become clear in the next few days. It is a sign of how far Thailand has fallen that news which in normal times would be disastrous, starts to sound quite positive. If early reports are correct and only two people died in Bangkok yesterday, reportedly in fights between locals and protesters, then Thais have got off lightly. When nervous soldiers with automatic weapons meet furious protesters with petrol bombs, tragedies can unfold in seconds. But the Thai troops seem to have followed orders to employ restraint, and disperse crowds rather than attack them — and to fire their live bullets well up into the air. Mr Abhisit won the media battle yesterday — in their respective television interviews with the BBC and CNN, he seemed reasonable, patient and articulate while Thaksin Shinawatra, his exiled antagonist, was shrill and unconvincing.

    The hardest job is still to come. About 4,000 protesters have fallen back to the streets in front of Government House. There are women and elderly people there, and children. To clear such a crowd without bloodshed would be difficult anyway — and the suspicion lingers that some of the Red Shirts are courting a violent response. A few unambiguous martyrs, genuinely innocent victims, would galvanise the movement at a moment when it may be in danger of losing momentum. This is what Mr Abhisit must avoid at all costs.

  50. 53 ThaiCrisis 13 April 2009 at 8:40 pm

    A very good piece indeed.

    The crowd at Government House is indeed the plat de resistance… The big fish. Difficult to swallow.

    The task was -apparently- easy with small groups of Red moving around the streets of Bangkok…

    Again we find the symmetry : The PAD occupied Government House for months… Samak and Somchai were unable to do anything… Any move would have started a bloodshed.

    Now Abhisit is facing the same challenge.

  51. 54 antipadshist 13 April 2009 at 8:46 pm

    justin.tv/nationsiam channel finally blocked by gobenrment MICT too !

    the last thing I got from the still going Live Chat there – that there is indeed a large group of “third party” next to the GH. and the guys (Red) who says he is with the main crowd – says those are “Panthamit”, which means …. PAD !

    well, why I’m not surprised ?

    surely army & Suthep well prepared it to look like as it is NOT the army who shot the protesters there, but it was due to clash of Reds with “locals” / “third party”. or otherwise – army had no choice but interfere to stop the violence, and had to shoot.

    this guy also says that alredy many people were shot there.

    of course once again – there are no real evidences except those updates. no any reporters are allowed there. all the TV channels are playing some stupid BS programs completely not related to current events.

    and now government made sure to block ALL the remaining website.

    perhaps that’s the main reason of delay – they wanted to ensure first the TOTAL BLACKOUT of any possible leakage of REAL information ?

    oh, I forgot to mention that some other people there said that apparently cell phone signals are also being jammed – they can’t even call any of their relatievs or friends.

    earlier was mentioned that army already warned that all electicity will be cut before the final assault.
    so, people there are preparing to die in the darkness.

    well, it is a perfect setting for a quite and covered up massacre – isn’t it ?

  52. 55 ThaiCrisis 13 April 2009 at 8:59 pm

    A very impressive video (and good summary) report from Channel 4.
    http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1184614595?bctid=19406701001

  53. 56 Thai Insanity 13 April 2009 at 9:08 pm

    @antipadshist

    “oh, I forgot to mention that some other people there said that apparently cell phone signals are also being jammed – they can’t even call any of their relatievs or friends.”

    “& army already warned that all electicity will be cut before the final assault.”

    GET OUT NOW. (ALL) Live to fight another day. Above references are indications of Military intervention very soon.

  54. 57 antipadshist 13 April 2009 at 9:11 pm

    TC

    now I guess you can make a new post: Informational Blackout ! 🙂

    coz that’s what it is.

    I bet till the main site at GH has been cleared and I mean CLEAN cleared (especially from corpses, blod and all evidences) – we’ll NOT get ANY news reports, except those AFTER, when the post-scene will be carefully arranged.

    I might be wrong of course.

    but I tend to agree with Mr. Discobbolos – that Abhisit / government / army/ establishment have clearly won the media battle.

    that’s the BIGGEST failure of UDD / Reds !

    coz without EVIDENCES no one is inclined to belive any alternative side of story except of carefully scripted and heavily censored government’s version !

    hopefully sooner or later some facts will surface.

    after all there are some educated chaps – as Jakrobob.

  55. 58 nganadeeleg 13 April 2009 at 9:16 pm

    I feel a bit sorry for the soldiers if they do only have blanks, when going up against the lawlessness & bloodymindedness exhibited by some reds which is CLEAR for all to see.

    Abhisit is right when he says:
    1. Law & Order
    2 Political reform

    The country will be destroyed if that order is reversed.

    That said, Abhisit does need to throw some carrots to go with the stick now (apparently, apparently not) being used.

  56. 59 Mr. Discobbolos 13 April 2009 at 9:18 pm

    @antipadshist
    History is written by the winning side!

  57. 60 antipadshist 13 April 2009 at 9:23 pm

    TC

    in the video you gave, the part where guy drags Red woman by hiar – I saw it earlier (I think this one : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqmE3fw_Q2o which is at the moment also removed by youtube), but I didn’t know this is a REPORTER !
    I though it is some army guy.

    so, talking again about BIAS – if reporter can do this, when confronted and accused of BIAS – then what else can be said?

    if government media is NOT thoroughly biased – WHY then they wouddn’t show this footage ?

  58. 61 antipadshist 13 April 2009 at 9:31 pm

    further comment/ close guess about woman dragged by hair:

    most likely this “reporter” / camera man was from CH 5, which openly belongs to army.

    I read elsewhere earlier that Ch 5 reporters were booed by Reds elsewhere for bias.

    so, I think this was just another situation – only that this time these 2 weomen were outnumbered, and this “reporter” decided to show her the “FAIR COVERAGE” of events 😉

  59. 62 whoopla 13 April 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Bloomberg’s Bernie Lo started his April 13th morning show from HK talking about the Thai PM having egg on his face. He then informed us that the Thai army would start cracking down on the red shirts by 5am Thai time (one hour after HK).
    It was shortly after this that I started seeing on one or two Thai TV channels soldiers picking up what looked like bodies and pilimg them into the back of covered vans. It was Bernies guest (a chinese ?) who drove home the point that the bodies were being removed ASAP. The bodies did not look like injured people, more like dead people. There was also an english language commentary about how swiftly the bodies were being removed before dawn shed too much light. Sevral cameras captured this video that was broadcast live by multiple Thai stations just after 5 am April 13th. There is definitely incriminating footage out there, evidence that would go towards explaining the reaction taken by the red shirts later in the day.

  60. 63 brazoo 13 April 2009 at 11:04 pm

    I think this article sums it up well:

    http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/opinion/breaking-views/23120-thais-on-the-brink-again–michael-j-montesano

    It does not really matter who won what battle today and who did not. If the Reds are serious, then Thailand and their political constellation will change … if not today, then tomorrow. For the first time the poor are challenging the traditional ruling part of the Thai society. And that’s like opening Pandora’s Box.

    What are the options for the yellows:
    I guess they don’t have many and for sure not they will be not easy and at best will buy them time.
    They need to keep the Reds as Reds and avoid them to be seen as the provincial and poor Thais. If they do so they would admit being taking actions against 90% of Thais.
    If they manage to isolate the Reds from the rest of the Thai society as a group of some 10.000 lunatics, then they have to wait for a mistake in their behavior. They have to wait for the Reds to do something stupid … kill someone important, something that will allow the yellows to criminalize the Reds and give them the moral authorization to hunt them down. (False flag opportunities) If all this works, this will buy the Yellows time, but they still have to change the way they are perceived by the provincial areas and the poor and adjust their lives to the new times coming: Thailand will, at some point, have a government elected by the poor and focused on their needs.

    Didn’t you find it strange, how a bunch of people could attack Abhists car and that the window could be smashed with a helmet? Knowing the tense situation Thailand is in? After the summit interruption? No armored car?… and what would have happened if he had been seriously wounded or even killed?

    A new election will not change anything. That would be the same game with different names and the same outcome.

    Leaves a coup and I don’t know what the outcome would be. Are the Reds a strong and big enough to go all the way and fight the Green? Or maybe the Greens are split and will not be able to fight the Reds? Thailand a 2nd Burma? Will the King speak up and everything is solved? Thailand is Thailand and in the short run everything is possible … I would not bet on anything.

    But maybe the organization of the Reds is not mature enough and the support within the country not big enough and then they simply disappear … but they will be back if the yellows keep acting like yellows and not focusing on the “reds” need … latest at the next “regular” election … you can bet on that.

    But one thing is for sure: The Reds are on the rise and the Yellows can only buy time … Game over

  61. 64 antipadshist 13 April 2009 at 11:34 pm

    TC

    here is a confirmation that Abhisit HIMSELF has ordered the “information blackout”:

    Plug pulled on pro-Thaksin TV
    http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/140464/plug-pulled-on-pro-thaksin-tv

    “DStation, a satellite TV station which had broadcasted live rallies of the anti-government United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), went off air Monday after the Abhisit Vejjajiva administration ordered satellite operator Thaicom to permanently terminate satellite signal.

    Prime Minister’s Office Minister Satit Wongnongtaey said the government had to terminate DStation’s broadcast because it delivered messages deemed capable of stirring chaos and damage in the country. The decision was made based on the government’s declaration of emergency decree on Sunday, he said.

    Firstly, the signal was terminated around noon but resumed later at 2.15 pm. However, the broadcast was disconnected again at 2.50 pm with a message informing audience that Thaicom station has to follow the administration’s order to terminate the signal.

    A reason that Thaicom did not take this action earlier is because there was a group of UDD supporters gathered around the station in Pathum Thani and so operators were concerned about safety, said Mr Satit.

    The action yesterday was possible because the government assigned authorities, referring to soldiers, to take control of the area and provide security, he said. UDD supporters reportedly left the area later on.

    Despite the disconnection, audience can still watch the red-shirt rally broadcasted live on the internet and via certain online and community radio stations, said a speaker at the Government House rally.

    DStation is C-Band satellite TV, broadcast via the Thaicom 5 satellite. It began broadcasting in mid-January, mainly as a key tool for communicating UDD’s campaign and for delivering video-linked appearance of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.”

    well, MICT certainly taken care to block out D-station on ALL the possible sources – TV, internet, radio.

    note the word PERMANENTLY 😉

    so, WELCOME to Ahisit’s “Democrat” government’s so called “Democracy” !

    somehow MSM both inside Thailand and abroad do not raise such an outrage as, say it was about events in Myanmar or Tibet last year (beofer Olympics) ! no live bloggers, no ANY reports of real facts.

    why Western media keep silent (except perhaps 1-2 articles by Jai U.) ? why nobody shames Abhisit for such a hypocrasy ?

    I guess because unlike Myanmar or China – THailand still remains a close ally of US and all the “banksters” (the real powers), and their military-industrial complex. so, they make sure that the rest of the world receies only carefully selected pieces of censored info – aka official government’s version !

  62. 65 sammy 14 April 2009 at 1:01 am

    who cares if the bullets were blanks or real. We have a well organized terrorist group that tried twice to murder the prime minister, attacked foreign heads of state, kidnapped state officials, stole buses and set them on fire, etc, etc., etc. In what country on earth EXCEPT Thailand would the government not respond with deadly force?

    What I dont understand is why the government tolerates Thaksin’s family and lackeys still in government openly working to help Thaksin. Why doesnt the government throw his family and agents in jail where they belong, disgourge Thaksin’s loot to the treasury where it came from, pass a law stripping Thaksin of his citizenship, revoke his passport, and start building real bridges to the rural poor, like any other asian country serious about defeating a ruthless opponent like Thaksin would do? Is it because Thailand is too soft? Too democratic? What? I ask this question to many Thais and they all say the same thing: the officials are afraid to crackdown on Thaksin because if he comes back then he will go after them in the purges that will follow. You can clearly see Thaksin’s people in the police and army are behind Pattaya and many other lapses during the mobs. I hope the government does a purge of all these pro Thaksin people after this is over and then maybe finally get around to some real reform in the police and army that brought so much shame to the nation.

    At least it was nice to see BBC finally grow some balls and objectivity during their interview of Thaksin where they essentially showed him to be lying through his teeth, unlike CNN.

    Finally, Abhisit has handled himself with dignity and maturity, keeping his cool even after almost being murdered. I am starting to like and repsect the guy more and more. Yes, he is the man.

  63. 66 Tarrin 14 April 2009 at 1:51 am

    LOL people I am reading the INN news and it said “CNN said the Red movement is undemocratic and TIMES said that Abhisit has more support than Thaksin” ….. the Thais journalism…. what has it become….
    My experience living in US and Europe, journalist there (i say 90% of the main stream and not opinion article) WILL NEVER EVER criticize the protest movement or compare who is better than who.

    This government and thai journalists smearing campaign has gone too far, its becoming

  64. 67 blonde and gorgeous 14 April 2009 at 2:13 am

    anyone seen this?

    I think that this should be the icing on the cake!!

    Having been caught out so openly – he should be flown home as a Traitor of Thailand and shot on Sanam Luang….

    enjoy – it’s rather amusing, really

  65. 68 Gloomy Observer 14 April 2009 at 3:36 am

    I’m sure some people have been paid; as were some of the poorer yellows, who were there to prove it wasn’t a middle-class phenomenom. However, I am absolutely sure, from my own experience of talking to members of both yellow and red groups, that the majority truly believe in the causes their side espouse, and are not their for a pay day. It’s really a ridiculous attempt to intellectually dismiss an argument that is inconvenient (fascist leanings for PAD; corruption and now violence for Thaksin) to just say “the others are all mercenaries”.

  66. 69 davefairtex 14 April 2009 at 3:56 am

    All this talk about media bias, news blackouts, blanks vs. live rounds, all of it misses the point. It’s all complaints about tactics. I believe the critical issue came two days ago, when Thaksin said:

    “It was now time for the people’s revolution and he was ready to move into Thailand to lead the people’s uprising.” He crossed the Rubicon right there. His own words turned this from “democracy protest” to revolution.

    Once the revolution starts, its war – and communications disruption, media manipulation, control over information flow, psychological warfare operations, they all swing into action. They are all legitimate wartime activities. Lives are at stake. Rules change.

    Cell phones can be used to direct military activity. Blogs can be used to recruit more supporters. Video can be used as propaganda. Is it any wonder the government wants to shut all of that down? This is war, declared by Thaksin.

    So the red group, outnumbered, in hostile territory, their intent to overthrow the government announced, unable to get their story out, are now screwed. Blame them for being followers, blame their General for bad judgement – but don’t blame the government for dealing with a violent revolution by using military power. That’s what governments do.

    The tragedy is – pointed out constantly by TC – absolutely nothing was solved. The red group’s legitimate grievances will now be tainted with the violence of the past few days. And that helps nobody.

    Reconciliation, negotiation, power sharing, compromise on BOTH sides are the only hope for the country. NOT revolution or some fleeting political or military “victory” by one side or the other.

  67. 70 John 14 April 2009 at 4:46 am

    Hi ThaiCrisis,

    Could you set up the time of your wordpress blog to Bangkok time?

    like this it would be easier to follow the comments (right now not sure what time is displayed)

  68. 71 DavidB 14 April 2009 at 5:24 am

    davefairtex says it very well.
    I think we all agree at this time, it appears nothing much has been achieved, but I am also not so sure about that in the long term.
    It would appear Thaksin has finally been outed in the international areana, as a fraud, a crook and a dangerous man.I think that is a positive outcome.
    It would also appear from events of the past 24 hours (such as no big crowds upcountry supporting their “besieged” BKK bretheren and the agression towards the reds by local communities) the tide has turned against the Reds – all over Thailand and by association Thaksin.
    Another positive and this is much more speculative,is that the underprivilaged will be given a chance.
    And yes, I know that also depends on “TC’s man” Abhisit being able to bring home the bacon. And, before you say it TC, I know the odds would still be wildly against him.
    But,if this can happen,it won’t be the “vote for me and I’ll throw you a few trinkets” type of helping hand. But, more a chance to a better and more susstainable lifestyle; a proper education for their children and a chance to properly participate in a proper democracy – not one where people are told “vote for me and I’ll look after you”.
    “Vote for someone else and you’ll get nothing”.
    If anyone in Thailand has the ability to “talk the talk” on this he can. Can he also “walk the walk”?
    A big niave wish – but this is Songkran…………

  69. 72 Marvo 14 April 2009 at 5:52 am

    Good post Davefairtex. The Protester’s actions have to be taken in the context of their paymaster’s incitement. And the government’s counter actions accordingly too.

    So, maybe the troops will sooner or later disperse the group outside of GH, and as the Newcastle lad hopes, everyone will return home like good little boys and girls.

    WHAT THE HECK DOES HE EXPECT TO HAPPEN THEN?

  70. 73 goldenscreen 14 April 2009 at 6:17 am

    Why did the police and army just stand aside and let the REDS wreck the ASEAN summit and then let them attack the car in the Interior Ministry? Have they not heard of the protesters beforehand and prepared themselves with I don’t know, tear gas and chemically laced water cannons and riot police?

    Or were they just looking for a pretext to implement repressive crackdown on the REDS? What makes you think that the REDS that attacked the car were even REDS and not infiltrators from military intelligence? It is a standard MO for state intelligence agencies to infiltrate protest movements and plant saboteurs and provocateurs to inflame the situation to create a pretext for a propaganda victory and massive crackdown.

    I find it naive and downright funny how many people would even trust mainstream media in Thailand. That they would take the word of the military spokesman? In Malaysia if all you read is the mainstream media, you would have thought that the ruling party was going to win the elections no problem. Instead it got trashed in 4 successive by elections. Guess the urban middle class in Bangkok is not as clever as it thinks.

    But of course I guess the Thai military and state are just too kind compared with Indonesia and Malaysia? Everybody knows Thai military corruption is now worse than Indonesia and Thai police corruption is worse than Malaysia and Thai political corruption is worse than both countries combined.

    The South is in flames because of a century of humiliation, repression and being treated as 2nd class citizens by the Thai Buddhist elite. Guess what the North and Northeast would be like in 10 years if the elites do not heed their voices? Class warfare, racial and religious warfare..Thailand is already at the slipping slope which many have predicted a few years before.

  71. 74 DavidB 14 April 2009 at 6:47 am

    “Guess what the North and Northeast would be like in 10 years if the elites do not heed their voices? ”

    Whilst I agree with your comment goldenscreen, it doesn’t sound to me like you know much about this, apart from waht you read in mainstream media and some notoriously biased on-line commentary.
    Of course, this site is not included in that.
    I will compliment TC in his willingness to “suffer” all srts of opinions. During all of this, Thai Crisis has matured into a particularly valuable formum – well done TC.
    But this is all moving so fast now, I feel that coming as it did to all as such a shock, it might have a similar positive outcome to what happened at the end of the 1992 event when Chamlong and Suchinda were forced to grovel.
    Times have changed, but maybe this will lead to some positive initiatives.
    You should have more faith in Thai resliance. Having worked and lived in several countries around here, I find that what might appear as “stupidity” and naivety to someone from Malaysia, is in fact quite a sophisticated way to handle things.
    It may be a golden time, to put that faith to the test and not just say “I told you so”….”Thai “elites” are all corrupt”and the poor will never get a break.

  72. 75 antipadshist 14 April 2009 at 7:37 am

    @davefairtex
    @DavidB

    I think davefairtex does NOT sum it up properly AT ALL !
    (although has some valid points worth noting – about change of tactics in the war)

    I think rather goldenscreen does !

    I was following up the LIVe broadcast from the main stage at GH, as well as several Chats and Forums where people who WERE THERE shared the Updates, almost every minute !

    so, it was pretty clear the the “main core” of protesters – those who were numbered even by official estimates 5000-6000 and were ONLY at GH – they were UNARMED! and that leaders, particularly Jatuporn, repeatedly called from the main stage to people to “stay in one place” (means at GH), not wonder out into the other parts of the city.

    around 3-3.30 am on Mon Apr 13th he came to the main stage to “wake up” the protesters and warn them that army is coming and they are ARMED. he was seen (D-Station on-line was still broadcasting) talking briefly on cell phone, apparently talking to some who were at Ding Daeng. he and others were giving Updates about whats going on at Ding Daeng, and that army were SHOOTING protesters and quickly taking out the corpses !

    so, as I said – he and Veera repeatedly called upon the main crowd to NOT go outside the main encampent at GH “because we can’t guarantee your safety”.

    however (as shared on Live Chat and confirmed more than once elsewhere on Forums) there were several groups who went out to confront the soldiers and never came back to the main stage despite the repeated calls by leaders to stick to the main plan of PEACEFULL sit-up protest at GH.

    also several times were confirmation by some of Reds on-line about “so many FALSE Red guards”.

    so, I am sure of the same conclusion as goldenscreen pointed out already: there must have been MANY infiltrators among the Reds ! hell, I would have thought little of Thai Army and ISOC if they won’t make sure to have in place ready their infiltrators, provocateurs and saboteurs!

    so, the ONLY thing I agree with davefairtex is – that yes, UDD leaders as Jatuporn, has been greatly outmatched and outclassed by PROFESSIONALS in Thai army and special security forces. it was their HUGE tactical error: to anounce the all-out “war” on government while NOT BEING READY themselves, after so called “Blue” has attacked them in Pattaya !

    YES, once it is war – then surely there would be first of all the HUGE info-warfare. as famous saying goes : “TRUTH is the first casualty of war”

    so, UDD leaders must have known better than that.
    and either they should have :

    1) NOT have anounced “war” on government and by that FACILITATING al those infiltrators, provocateurs and saboteurs INSIDE their ranks AND the gangs of “local people” (who oh so miraculously found guns and weapons so fast ! 😉 to “help” the army ) OUTSIDE to start their actions and practically IMPLICATE the UDD.

    With poorly organised protesters and definete LACK of control over their troops – they shouldn’t have declare “war” in the first place, but instead continued PEACEFULL sit-up rally at GH and concentrated on INFORMATION warfare (although even in that they probably would have lost in the end anyway – but at least they gould have achieve more than by riots that followed)

    or

    2) IF they decided that they are ready (prepared, equipped, supplied etc) for “war” – then they MUST have changed the tactics and stopped even broadcasting from the main stage for ALL (especially government and MICT) to hear and know all the plans ! there shouldn’t be stage there at all anymore with songs, speeches etc – it is WAR ! the whole encampment must have been turned into a Castle ala PAD that time (both at GH and airports). and ESPECIALLY must have been ensured the proper communications, line of command, etc.

    so, neither was done ! instead it was a TOTAL MESS – a mix up of 2 incompatible things. thus a result.

    PAD’s leaders are much more professional in their tactics and management. well, of course – Chamlong is a general who had huge experience in Vietnam War, Laos, Korea (if I’m not mistaken), as well as events of Blak May 92. and Sondhi L – media tycoon.

    so, UDD must have learned WELL MANY THINGS from PAD if they decided to adopt their style and tactics.

    particularly this one: PAD leaders during their occupation of GH have established a THORUGH carefull system of protecting against infiltrators. they had a sort a netwrok: divided ALL the present crowd into gropus not more than 10 people each with group leader who would KNOW each member’s face (and I guess even the personal info). PAD leaders repeatedly and regularly warned from the main stage about infiltrators – to watch out for a “strangers” ! that’s why they have had their own Check points which won’t allow in even police and reporters without leaders’ or “guards” chiefs’ special permission / approval !

    Hell ! PAD even detained police ! and any suspicious fellows were instantly detected, stopped, taken aside and beaten a sh1t out of them …

    also remember that woman who tried to infiltrate in airport

    there are MANY other things which Chamlong has made sure of. and also as I recall Army has sent to PAD another general as “security advisor” / assistant.
    (but even Chamlong was CURSED a lot for deaths he caused in 92 – even though that time he won and Suchinda lost !)

    so, certainly UDD leaders were NOT as well prepared as PAD – not even close !

    therefore I tend to agree – they MUST NOT have “declared war” on government, since they were TOTALLY NOT ready, outmatched, outsmarted, outclassed etc.

    well, after all – they are just a “ban-nork” people, even their leaders. they are still TOO NAIVE and have a lot to learn!

    however it was their first experience after all.
    hopefully they’ll learn hard – DO NOT declare war prefarably AT ALL, or at least if you’re UNPREPARED !

    otherwise – if you do, then CHANGE tactics from “peacefull” style to wartime – with many things in mind – ESPECIALLY infiltrators, provocateurs and saboteurs AND “info-wars”, several back-up communication facilities, logistics etc.

    NON of it was done. they thought by rethorics and sarcastic songs on the stage they’ll bring down a HUGE MONSTER of ESTABLISHMENT – government backed by army, buearocracy, judiciary, elite, all the big corporations bosses !

    it doesn’t happen this NAIVE way !

    but, despite all the disastrous mistakes and failures ….

    the “ginny is out of the bottle !” 😉

  73. 76 DavidB 14 April 2009 at 8:03 am

    Antipadhist, I do agree with you, “The genie is out of the bottle”.
    Let’s all hope is can now go on and do some good work for all Thai people – not just a few.
    I wold sincerely hope a true movement, with no poo-yai leaders can now evolve.
    The colour of the shirt, or one man’s missing millions, shold no longer be the issues.

  74. 77 antipadshist 14 April 2009 at 8:26 am

    Penkair on Bloomberg :

    “We have declared the end of the rally,” Jakrapob, another protest leader, said. “The main plan is to save as many lives as possible. We are leaving but we are not abandoning our cause.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=aeVKtGm3SUzk&refer=asia

    BTW yesterday infamous “Sae Daeng” general was speaking on the main stage at GH. apparently he left right after that. now I guess that he has educated the UDD leaders and perhaps influenced them to make this decision to end the rally and disperse.

    the fact that he was there tells something. he certainly keeps a thing or two in store.

    so, Abhisit would make a big mistake thinking it is all over. if he wants the RECONCILIATION – he MUST take into consideration the advises and prognosis by analysts and experts, initiate a REAL dialogue and better if he starts the process of TRUE referendum and schedules a REAL Elections !

    the big question though is :
    WHOULD HE BE ALLOWED by his puppet-masters / the ESTABLISHMENT ?

    I am afraid – not. and that would mean as Thinitan already said – some sort of backlash sooner or later.

  75. 78 antipadshist 14 April 2009 at 10:01 pm

    last time I checked it is Apr 15th, not Apr 1 , but here is a biggest joke of the day, if not of the year :

    PM calls on cooperation from all sides, is open to public debate
    He called on those unhappy with the present political system to become engaged in public debate and help find solutions for the ongoing political conflicts.

    “You don’t have to hold protests in the streets. I invite all groups to discuss political solutions for our country to move forward and the benefit of everyone in our society,” the premier said. “It is time we restored our country. We will have to overcome all of the difficulties together.”
    http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2009/04/15/politics/politics_30100548.php

    what a clown, huh ?

    with ALL the opposition TV, radio, even websites etc closed / blocked – he has audacity to attempt such a BS as “open to public debate” ?

    well, how about for starters – tell MICT to UNBLOCK all those websites etc ? how about let D-station broadcast again?

    say, like Obama has created, what is that – the “cyber-town-hall” or something, for LIVE on-line discussions ?
    since Abhisit has tried so hard to be Thai ObaMark – at least he could start with facilitating REAL true freedom of speech and information ?

  76. 79 antipadshist 15 April 2009 at 2:08 am

    most likely this video very soon will be either blocked or removed from youtube:

    (at 0:45 )

    “a woman approached us in obvious distress. she told us bodies has been taken away in garbage trucks from the Din Daeng intersection on Sunday night …. (indistinct) her husband was shot and never been seen again”

    this is just one example which surfaced merely within 2 days – hopefully sooner or later more evidences would come out from reliable sources !

  77. 80 George P Tuckeer 15 April 2009 at 7:26 am

    Al-jazeera seem to have done some of the best reporting on this crisis

  78. 81 antipadshist 15 April 2009 at 5:07 pm

    someone who was in Pattaya has recorded the videos of how Blue were orginised and how army was pratcically helping them :

    Blue in Pattaya 1

    Blue in Pattaya 2

    “blueshirts in the last scene was calling for weapons from soldiers”

  79. 82 dooda 17 April 2009 at 9:06 am

    Shawn Crispin has interesting article on this topic of propaganda about the black Songkran and related events

    “Smokes, Mirrors, and Lies”:
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/KD17Ae02.html

  80. 83 commons 17 April 2009 at 1:00 pm

    i’d like to add a comment from new mandala. that imho is _by now_ the most sophisticated in… analyzing weaponry. thx 4 ur time:

    Garry #33.

    Thanks for the links. The students federation is following up on the possibility of concealed bodies of red shirts killed by the military and is appealing for relatives of missing red shirts to come forward but they admit this is only a rumour.

    The Russian TV clip didn’t seem to show soldiers shooting red shirts but it did show red shirts throwing molotov cocktails at soldiers.

    The Al Jazeera story says, ” But Al Jazeera’s correspondent Tony Cheng, reporting from the Din Daeng area of the Thai capital, said the protesters showed no sign of backing down and were trying to regain ground shortly after being pushed back by advancing troops firing machine guns into the air. But he said soldiers were firing very close to ground level and the risk of serious injuries or deaths was very high.”

    First of all there is no sign in any of the clips that the troops were firing machine guns into the air or elsewhere, although some were clearly carrying what looked like .50 calibre machine guns. I am sure the .50 calibre machine guns were only there for show, as these are devastating up to 1,500 metres and would easily go through several protestors and penetrate flimsy buildings. The clips only show them firing their standard issue M16 assault rifles. Secondly, firing close to ground level could certainly be lethal, if the soldiers were firing live rounds, but the reporter didn’t cite any evidence that they were firing live rounds.

    In the BBC film in the Middle East TV clip it is not at all clear that the soldier is loading live ammunition into his M16 magazine. From what is visible the rounds don’t seem to have the pointed copper tips of full metal jacket high velocity combat rounds and they also look too short for full metal jacket rounds. They could have have been round nosed lead tipped “practice” rounds but they look too short even for those and are more likely to be blank cartridges that have a low charge and a flat paper wadding tip. Given the lack of deaths and injuries, it seems likely that the vast majority of the troops were issued only with blank cartridges to prevent mishap. Some injuries may have been caused by lead “practice” rounds which, at least, have the advantage of not injuring those behind the person shot, as high velocity full metal jacket rounds can go straight through a human body at 100 metres or less. The use of this ammunition would be very obvious from damage to buildings at the scenes, as in 1992. I suspect a that very small percentage of troops, probably seasoned NCOs, were issued with any live ammo at all for use in life threatening situations. In the worst case of hand to hand fighting the rank and file could always fix bayonets and have a longer reach than the clubs and swords of their oponents.

    I suspect that the image of dead red shirts being loaded on to army trucks to be hidden somewhere, as suggested by Thaksin to CNN, is going to turn out to be a just a ghoulish spectre dragged back from 1992. ”

    http://rspas.anu.edu.au/rmap/newmandala/2009/04/14/thailands-royal-sub-plot/#comment-642442


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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.


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