Former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and the Army brass have repeatedly claimed that someone else killed and wounded thousands of people in April and May 2010. If the lives and health of people weren’t involved we could make a , Fawlty Towers-like joke of arrogant men blaming others for their errors and refusing to take responsibility for them.
At PPT we have long noted that Abhisit is skilled with untruths and he seems at it again. At The Nation he is reported at the Truth for Reconciliation Commission saying that he “denied his government had ordered troops to open fire on the crowds in connection with the bloodshed at Rajdamnoen Avenue on April 10, 2010.”
How could that denial be read? That the Abhisit government sent troops with loaded weapons to the demonstrations cannot be denied. That these troops were ordered to clear the demonstrators is also undeniable.
Abhisit says they lugged loaded weapons about because “the Centre for the Resolution of the Crisis Situation gave the green light for riot forces to be armed for self-protection and safeguard the people’s lives…”.
Abhisit’s tale seems to be that the Army lads were just milling about, safeguarding people’s lives when they were attacked. His line has long been that unknown, never apprehended others, dressed in black, attacked them. Hence, the Army either fled in panic or fired on the crowds in acts of self protection.
Many royalists believe this story because one of their heroes of anti-red shirt action was killed. Of course, the men in black angle has been widely canvassed. Most recently, Army sources have said that internal Army conflicts led to military-on-military fighting.
But back to
Pinocchio Abhisit. When asked about the later public declaration of live fire zones, he answered that “the true purpose was to deter the crowds from joining the protests.” Even those who believe the men in black line would have difficulty accepting this pathetic concoction.
We can’t wait to hear more of this kind of manipulation when former Deputy PM Suthep Thaugsuban gives his statement on 27 June.
Meanwhile, at the Bangkok Post, the Army bosses have decided to continue with their remarkably stupid denial that they killed anyone with their weapons. In particular, they have “insisted soldiers did not kill people at Wat Pathum Wanaram during the crackdown on red shirts on May 19, 2010 after police testifying in court had implicated the army.”
Deputy army spokesman Colonel Winthai Suwari made the claim while stating that the “bullets and firearms used to kill the people in the temple had been stolen during the riots [sic.]” in April 2010. The colonel is apparently referring to the Army’s loss of Tavor and M16 rifles, shotguns and hundreds of bullets.
The Army regularly “loses,” sells and steals its own weapons and sells them to others, so there are indeed former Army weapons floating about. In addition, Thailand is a heavily armed society. We also know that some ordinance was dumped when troops fled before the crowds on 10 April 2010, with some even said to have been returned to the Army.
Colonel Winthai then makes a remarkable claim that the Army has “proof that the stolen firearms and bullets were used during the unrest.” We look forward to seeing that presented in courts.
The colonel gets more fantastical when he says that there were no soldiers beyond the Chaloem Phao junction and the Siam BTS station “because they had been held back by men in black firing at them. Security forces were not positioned along the entire length of the skytrain track because they were obstructed by men in black.”
It is interesting that all the video and other evidence we have seen contradicts this. But evidence is never a big deal in such cases of soldiers killing civilians because soldiers always have impunity when acting to protect the royalist elite.