2010 Thaksin's Terrorism
Return of PAD
Did PM Abhisit have other choices for 2010 Thailand?
( Last edit 2010-06-02 )
Is it a matter for concern with the level of force that the Thai Government exercised in their April-May 2010 clashes with the Redshirt protest movement?
One should be reminded first that Thaksin during his term, orderred Gen.Panlop Pinmanee's military force armed with M-16 rifles only (and without water cannon, teargas, conventional anti-riot batons and shields) to crackdown Muslim's protest in the south which resulted in Kru-Se and Takbai massacre of over 80 deaths. Thaksin is proud of his iron fist policy and said UN was not his father.
Also, during Thaksin's government another proud policy was the cut-off link of suspected drug traffickers which resulted in more than two thousand unaccountable deaths, including children. Red-shirts have all along supported Thaksin and rally to white wash Thaksin's crimes they petitioned in November 2009 for amnesty under Royal clemency. April 2009's red-shirts riot under Thaksin's nightly instigation and financing were to "FORCE" the King's intervention as appeared in May 1992.
PAD has long encouraged PM Abhisit for the "Peaceful Preventive Measures" against resurrection of Thaksin Shinawatra. Since the start of PM Abhisit's government in December 2008 up to the March 2010, PM Abhisit's government has done too little and too late to prevent Thaksin's movements, e.g. using media to educate people how corrupt tyrant Thaksin is.
Thus, Thaksin has great opportunities to consolidate power among the corrupt polices, red-shirts from up-country, outlaw paramilitary troops, the mouthpiece media e.g. local radios, red-shirts publications and PTV. Despite the failure to protect April 2009's ASEAN summit in Pattaya as well as the simultaneous Bangkok's riots of red-shirts, PM Abhisit still left things too late for one more year.
Having been ignorant to the "Peaceful Preventive Measures" suggested by PAD for years, PM Abhisit was left with no other choices. He has to leave his house to stay and work in army barrack. He has to request military force to crackdown the red-shirts rally in March-May 2010. The police silently boycots his orders, leaving the red-shirts freely violate the law and get armed with military weapons.
The March-May 2010 incidences, to some extent, followed what Thaksin had planned that is to lure the military crackdown to result in some protesters' deaths, to fabricate accusations of bloodbath government. Fortunately, masked men-in-black and military weapons as well as red-shirt leaders' speeches have proven the obvious conspiracy and discredit their claim of peaceful rallying of the red-shirts while justifying the optimum use of force by the military. Actually, USA and British governments had openly forewarned of such terrorism involvement in the protest since the begining of March 2010.
PM Abhisit still has the task to proof to the public for the justification of the crackdown against the terrorists and the red-shirts illegitimate rallies. The crackdown of the rallies, nearly 90 deaths and over 1,800 injured would not worth as a success for PM Abhisit, if he does not carry out an immediate reform, once and for all, to prevent the next incidence and the next terrorist mastermind, one after Thaksin.
PM Abhisit has to immediately and effectively reform Thailand to be without corruption, without electoral frauds, without corrupt polices, with strict rule of law and order as well as with public safety e.g. eliminate military weapons and terrorists, before the next general election. Otherwise, Thailand will not get out of the crisis and more violence will return. It is regrettable for all physical and economical victims which could have been avoided if Thaksin had not been allowed the chance by the ignorance of PM Abhisit government.
Was the use of force against red-shirts excessive?
After April 10, 2010, PM Abhisit and Gen.Anupong, the army chief admitted the underestimation of the armed terrorists among the red protesters. I see that military used under-armed soldiers on April 10, 2010. That is why five soldiers succumbed deaths following M-79 attacks and failed to crackdown the rally on Raj Damnoen road. About 20 red-shirts were shot dead with rifles. All deaths occured not during the daytime anti-insurgency operations, but only after night fall when there were masked armed men-in-black present among the ralliers.
With the Raj Prasong's rally, the use of military force was optimum. Over fourty of M-79 grenades were fired at soldiers line on Rama IV road on May 17 alone. Red-shirts terrorists, hiding in Bon-Kai, Raj Prarop and Din Daeng (poor areas of Bangkok) armed with automatic rifles, pistols, M-79 launchers, grenades, petrol bombs and giant firecrackers tried to attack military barricades from the side and the rears.
The soldiers changed the tactics not to approach the rally site but to wall-off to exclude supplies from outside for two weeks. Also, the soldiers adopted the two separate objectives of highly selective protective sharpshooting. The military sharpshooter snipers taking high advantageous positions, fired protective shots to kill only armed terrorists posing fatal threats to fellow soldiers while shot saboteurs to criple. Ground infantrymen would slowly approach and secure the areas behind armoured carriers.
On May 19, some terrorist snipers shot at advancing soldiers, reporters and probably their red protesters. The terrorist resistance was heaviest on Sarasin road which a soldier and an Italian reporter were shot dead by terrorists. 20 terrorists were captured at Sarasin. Most of terrorists (over 50) were either shot dead or severely injured actually outside the rally site, at Bon Kai, Raj Prarop and Din Daeng.
However, with superior fire power, selective sniping and slow step-wise clamping down on the terrorists, most armed terrorists were shot. Six bodies killed in the evening of May 19, after the rally was abandoned and before the military went in, found in Wat Prathum Temple, are under forensic investigations.
Considering thousands of unarmed men, women, children protesters innocently unaware of being hostages in the hand of hudreds of heavily armed Thaksin's terrorists, aiming to fabricate situations, the anti-terrorist military operations at Raj Prasong in May 2010 are surprisingly successful with optimal force which achieved low collteral damage on innocent lives. Pua-Thai puppet party and Thaksin have lost the battle as well as the credibility from most Thais and international communities, but at the expense of national economy and those casualties.
Are Any Redshirt's Arguments against the Thai Government Justifiable?
All Red-shirts' movements aim at the immediate overturn of Abhisit's government. Anti-royalist faction in the red-shirts may also wish an all-out civil war to abolish the constitutional monarchy. Thaksin's prime objective is for the return to power (probably with his proxy) and for amnesty of all his crimes. Red-shirts just beat around the bush and fabricate lies, accusing aristocrats, elites, class struggles, Gen.Prem Tinsulanond, the President of the Privy Council, and military support undemocratic Abhisit's government. There were no actual discussions about the poors' problems on red-shirt rally stages. Actually, the movements most of the time argued on behalf of Thaksin to unfreeze his assets of seventy billion baht (2 billion USD) back.
Decent people do not accept any of red-shirt leaders' arguments because they have malicious intentions behind and not actually for good-intention to compromise or to reform for better Thailand. Poor peasants joined the rallies because of quick money from Thaksin and the trust in hypocritic Thaksin's populism.
To get out of the crisis, to solve the overall national problems e.g. inequalities, there is the need to reform the country for true democracy that is to be free from electoral frauds and corrupt politicians. Red-shirt arguments do not sincerely support such peaceful reform.
After red-shirt leaders surrendered, are there still safety concerns in Bangkok even though the worst of the violence seems to be over?
Since the corrupt polices under Thaksin are still around, with readily available military weapons from the borders, and unless PM Abhisit can consolidate the power to actually reform Thailand, the threats are there. Rumours of attempts to assasinate top country's figures are present.