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…
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 ?
(click on the picture)
(blank bullets ?)
It is of course totally grotesque and absurd (but what could we expect from a military spokesman ?).
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…]
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.
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)
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)
New official figures :
Two men were killed and 120 others injured in a day of violence. (AFP)
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.
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 :
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…
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)
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).
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.”