Updated: Abhisit’s response to hundreds of casualties

10 04 2010

According to the Bangkok Post, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva appeared in a live TV pool broadcast on Saturday evening and “expressed sorrow for the deaths incurred during the clash between the securities personnel and demonstrators today…” . With hundreds of people injured and at least 15 killed, most of them civilians, it is difficult to understand how the government’s leader, ultimately responsible for these actions, could truly be sorrowful. PPT has long observed that Abhisit is long on nice words but short on truth.

Abhisit praised himself for daring to talk with red shirt leaders a week or so ago – where he offered nothing meaningful, and then said that the red shirts were making an “unreasonable demand.” They wanted an election. He stated that the “government was very patient in dealing with the mob who were hell-bent to escalate the pressure to force the government’s hands. The daily violence, especially M79 grenades, was the testimony that the gathering was not intended to be peaceful.” This is the first time that Abhisit has held the red shirts responsible for the string of bombings in Bangkok over the past month, most of which did little damage. PPT believes that many of these bombs could easily have been the work of agents provocateur, especially as no arrests have been made.

Abhisit said: “I’m confident if we stay true to righteousness, we will win the day.” The red shirts remained defiant and demanded an immediate dissolution of parliament.

The premier stated that “it was obvious that the mob had weapons as reported by the media, though they might make an excuse that it was only for defence.” To be honest, PPT has not seen such weapons, unless he means sticks and stones. If readers have images of armed protesters, please send them on. We are pretty sure that, in the face of the police and military, armed to the teeth, that some protesters must have armed themselves.

Abhisit also said the authorities “were allowed only to use live bullets to shoot into the air or for self-defence.” We assume that there will be plenty of statement regarding self-defence. He also said that there would be an “independent panel has been appointed to investigate the deaths,” and cautioned against assigning blame for the deaths. That’s an interesting approach.

The government claimed “that gunshots were fired by the protesters and injured at least two soldiers.” It also stated that the “use force when necessary to reclaim areas.”

Abhisit is reported as saying that he would not step down. He should take responsibility, and instead of being sorrowful, he should be ashamed.

Back in 2008, when 1 protester was killed by an exploding tear gas canister and 40-100 were injured, Abhisit was reported in this way (Bangkok Post, 8 October 2008): “Democrat party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva has called on the government to admit responsibility for its handling of the People’s Alliance Democracy (PAD) demonstration leading to severe injuries among a number of protesters. After boycotting the parliamentary session, Mr Abhisit visited injured protesters at Vajira hospital yesterday. Mr Abhisit said his party objected to the police’s use of tear gas to disperse the crowd and that the party’s MPs had stayed away from the parliamentary meeting yesterday in protest…. Mr Abhisit said the bloodshed was unnecessary…. Mr Abhisit also hit out at the government for being insincere in its efforts to forge reconciliation.”



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