An army at war internally?

13 04 2010

In another post, about the queen and prince attending the funeral of Colonel Romklao Thuwatham, killed on Saturday, we have included some information about him.

We have been intrigued as to why this one death amongst the 21 (so far) has seemed so important for the yellow-shirted establishment. Its all over the blogs and the ASTV crowd seem transfixed. The claim is that he was hunted down and maybe by fellow officers. At the same time, the claim that he was targeted by laser beam and then taken out with a grenade seems “unprofessional.” Not that we have experience in these things, but PPT thinks that targeting someone for assassination would usually result in a killer bullet rather than a sloppy grenade.

But much is murky in all of this. However, yellow-shirted journalist Avudh Panananda at The Nation (12 April 2010) has some interesting comments. He says: “What happened on Rajdamnoen Avenue on Saturday was not a botched anti-riot operation nor a lynching mob gone berserk. It was a head-on skirmish between two well-trained armed forces – one in fatigues and another in black. The red shirts were just props in the battlefield.” This is more of the disingenuous ranting about the poor outgunned security forces. As far as we can tell from looking at the videos and photos, there have only been 4-8 people carrying war weapons who were amongst the red shirts; many of the images seem to be of the same people. And, as we have said several times, the injury and death count is very much dominated by civilians. Avudh has lost all ideas of proportionality that makes it horse manure to write of “two well-trained armed forces.”

He goes on to more interesting things: “The death of Colonel Romklao “Pao” Thuwatham of the 2nd Infantry Division, is expected to reverberate through the Army ranks. It is a century-old tradition that graduates from Chula-chomklao Royal Military Academy come from the same feeding bowl, and hence will not kill their own kind under any circumstances. In the failed coup of 1977, General Chalard Hiransiri broke the sacred code by fatally shooting General Arun Thawathasin. Chalard was subsequently executed by a firing squad.  Chavalit and top generals backing the red shirts should know that Army commanders will not allow Romklao to die in vain. Justice must be served one way or another.”

This is a threat, passed on by a “journalist”, suggesting that red shirt supporters in the army can expect death. Interesting indeed. It does demonstrate how deeply divided the military must now be that they will now consider internal score-settling.


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14 04 2010
abejero | from the Big Apple to the banks of the Mekong

[…] to have distanced themselves from the weekend’s clashes, with many observers now reporting a deeply divided military, unwilling any longer to take drastic measures to protect its military-installed Abhisit […]

17 04 2010