The Bangkok Post’s report on the official release of the Truth for Reconciliation Commission report suggests that it will be interesting reading. The Post says that the report “has shed light on the mystery of the ‘men in black’, saying they were linked with red-shirt security guards and Maj Gen Khattiya Sawasdipol.”
In its report on the 2010 Battle for Bangkok, Somchai Homlaor, who headed the investigating sub-committee, said the commission had “found connections between the ‘men in black’ and security guards of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship in at least two clashes with authorities at Kok Wua intersection near the Democracy Monument and the Pratunam area on April 10, 2010.” He adds that “many” of the men in black “were found to be close to Maj Gen Khattiya…”. He added that the commission did “not have evidence to conclude whether they had a connection with UDD key figures…”.
The statements Somchai makes are not new. However, we would assume, from the claims made by him, that his committee interviewed so-called black shirts and red shirt guards in order to determine its conclusions. It cannot be, as another journalist reported, that the “report links at least one of the “men in black” to Army Maj-General Khattiya … who would later end up being shot down by an unknown sharp shooter on May 13,” and that “somebody saw a group of men in black step out of a white van at 7pm on April 10 near the Democracy Monument only to be ‘surrounded’ and escorted by red-shirt guards toward the direction of the deadly confrontation.”
There must be more evidence than this, as this appears based on one man in black and a “somebody.”
We can hope that in making claims, the TRC has spoken with more than a couple of witnesses to alleged black shirt action for an Army report states that “CRES intelligence” had it that “there were about 500 armed terrorists among the red shirts, and they were equipped with war weapons including M79s, M16s, AK47s and Tavor-21s.” These are all Army weapons but widely available as people in the Army lose and sell them and suffers numerous “thefts.”
PPT looks forward to seeing the report and seeing the months of investigation showing the necessary evidence.