Abhisit dissembles

2 06 2010

PPT has mentioned the Wat Pathum Wanaram temple beginning with this post and including pictures and video in this page. We do not proposed to re-state the information posted there.

However, PPT was surprised to know that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who has ultimate responsibility for the officially-reported 88 deaths and almost 2,000 injuries, has used exactly the same excuse for deaths and injuries during the Rajaprasong crackdown as for the 10 April failed crackdown on Rajadamnoen Avenue.

Well, to be honest, we are not surprised, for we have come to know Abhisit as a stubborn political animal who knows exactly who is audience is. Because he panders to the yellow shirts, royalists, the elite and the trembling middle class, he can get away with all kinds of spin. They believe him and he cares little for opposition views of any kind.

When Puea Thai Party “parliamentarian Anudith Nakornthap showed a photograph of marksmen in army uniform pointing rifles in the direction of the temple from an elevated train track, saying that troops shot at unarmed protesters within. Abhisit rejected the evidence out of hand.

His Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban had said that the “photo may have been taken the day after troops had secured the area.” Abhisit declared that “autopsies showed that four of the six people found dead at the temple were shot on level ground and not from a higher trajectory.” For Abhisit this means there were no soldiers on the train tracks firing on those in the temple. Forget all of the evidence including numerous reports from the international media.

Abhisit also raises the government’s other story on this. He says that the “preliminary investigations also showed the victims were shot in the back, chest and arms, in some cases as many as three times.” The government is claiming that “unknown gunmen may have been firing from the back of the temple.” This is the army’s story as well. Red shirts shooting red shirts….

This line has been maintained since the failed 10 April crackdown, with Abhisit claiming that the use of deadly force was entirely responsive. As he puts it, “The government and army had no intention to attack people…. What had happened was there was a militia group which attacked the military and that led to clashes. We will explain this fact and we show our sincerity by allowing an independent committee to investigate…”.

In another report in the Bangkok Post, Abhisit is quoted as saying that “the government [n]ever used any force to clear protesters from the main rally venue at Ratchaprasong intersection…”. Oddly, he adds: “I admit that force was used during the crackdown to solve people’s troubles…”. What he means, it seems, is that the actual stage site was not cleared by the army and permits claims that a “mystery” group of renegade red shirts killed their brothers and sisters.

Abhisit knows that his preferred audience will believe this even when media reports provide no support for the government’s position. Again, we urge readers to examine the similarities between this statement and the Israeli government’s claims in recent days. There is an astounding resonance. Is the Abhisit government using Israeli advisers?

Finally, Abhisit shifts blame and responsibility to everyone but his own government: “… we cannot deny that recent violence has occurred, sparked by people instilling hatred and spreading misinformation…”.

PPT suggests readers go back to the events of 10 April for accounts of the initial use of force and the government’s development of this argument and, as we have said many times, look at the weight of death and injury tolls.

PPT doubts that any truly independent investigation will ever seek the answers. The government will simply dissemble and appoint its own people to investigate such as the highly politicized Department of Special Investigation or the entirely compromised and ineffective National Human Rights Commission.

Many on the government side once pointed to Thaksin Shinawatra’s failures on human rights when he was prime minister and how he avoided scrutiny. The situation is worse now. At present, the Abhisit government essentially has no legal or other scrutiny.


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3 06 2010
Thailand Dramatisk utvikling i Thailand. - Side 212 - Asiaforum.no

[…] #2113 (permalink) I dag, 08:59 PPT om regjeringens bortforklaringer av drap: Abhisit dissembles Ett par korte quotes fra artikkelen: […]

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The Nation on independent investigations « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Abhisit has talked about independent investigations but this is always in the context of organizations in Thailand that are anything but independent. There is also talk of the government approaching individuals to join an “independent […]

3 06 2010
The Nation on independent investigations « Politicalprisonersofthailand's Blog

[…] Abhisit has talked about independent investigations but this is always in the context of organizations in Thailand that are anything but independent. There is also talk of the government approaching individuals to join an “independent […]

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[…] Then Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on April 2010: […]

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[…] Then Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on April 2010: […]