More government lies

6 04 2011

The Bangkok Post has this remarkable statement from the ever-acting government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn related to an earlier post at PPT. We at PPT think that Panitan is telling lies. We guess that is what an acting government spokesman is paid to do. Here’s the report:

Panitan

Acting government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn Wednesday said the Thai army had explained to the public that the munitions it had used to attack Cambodian soldiers were not considered the same type of cluster munitions that the CMC [Cluster Munition Coalition] mentioned.

PPT thinks this is an outright lie that he is repeating on behalf of the Army and the Abhisit Vejjajiva government. He continued:

Mr Panitan said in fact there were several types of cluster munitions being used in several countries but it depends on how each army categorises them.

He said the Thai army used Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions (DPICM) which is artillery designed to attack missiles and Thailand does not consider it a cluster bomb.

Okay, we admit that no-one at PPT is a munitions expert, but even Wikipedia says this: “A Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions (DPICM) is an artillery or surface-to-surface missile warhead designed to burst into sub-munitions at an optimum altitude and distance from the desired target for dense area coverage. The sub-munitions are designed for both antiarmor and antipersonnel attack. Some sub-munitions may be designed for delayed reaction or mobility denial (mines). The air-to-surface variety of this kind of munition is better known as a cluster bomb.”

From the Bangkok Post: The Israeli made cluster ammunition (DPICM) is fired from artillery. Thai forces used M85 cluster ammunition, similar to those in this graphic on the Israeli weapons.

Landmine Action has this fact sheet. There is also an excellent Norwegian report (a large PDF) on the kind of munition claimed to be used by the Thai Army. And, the Bangkok Post has a diagram in its article mentioning the M-85 munition the Army uses. Conclusion: more lies.

Laura Cheeseman, director of the CMC is right to observe:

It’s appalling that any country would resort to using cluster munitions after the international community banned them….

Thailand has been a leader in the global ban on anti-personnel mines, and it is unconscionable that it used banned weapons that indiscriminately kill and injure civilians in a similar manner.

While Thailand has not signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions, it joined a 1997 landmine ban treaty. This makes the Army’s actions and denials truly appalling.

PPT wonders how Panitan can even sleep at night. It must be that he sees protecting the reprehensible as essential to maintaining the royalist regime and that protecting the regime justifies murder and maiming.


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3 responses

8 04 2011
Covering up | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] almost said it in our post yesterday: that the Army and Abhisit Vejjajiva government would quickly deny the claim that cluster munitions […]

9 04 2011
Cluster bombs used, not cluster bombs | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] used cluster munitions when fighting broke out with Cambodian forces in February. The Thai side has realized the enormity of this being stated in the international media and has begun covering […]

22 04 2011
There are cluster bombs that our guys use and then there are bad cluster bombs | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Thailand’s soon-retracted admission of the use of cluster bombs (read our posts here, here, here, here, here and […]




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