Cluster bombs used, not cluster bombs

9 04 2011

Is that header confusing? It should be, because that is what the Abhisit Vejjajiva government and its military are trying to do: confuse this important issue.

There is considerable evidence that Thai forces 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 up.

That cover up has now seen several comments made that amount to this: “Thailand had used DPICM, not cluster munitions.”

As Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) director Laura Cheeseman says, “How Thailand could come to such a conclusion is baffling…. The DPICM is the classic example of a cluster munition, which is essentially a large canister that opens up after deployment to disperse many submunitions over a wide area.”

Actually, it is not baffling. The Thai military is used to lying and covering up, as well as expecting impunity for its actions. This is normal and routine in Thailand.

The Nation says: “… Foreign Ministry spokesman Thani Thongpakdi said the Thai side had used DPICM, which could not be considered ‘cluster munitions’. The main purpose of using this weapon was to retaliate against the Russian-made BM21 multi-rocket launcher that was used indiscriminately by Cambodia…. He added that the weapon was used in “self-defence”, under the principles of “necessity, proportionality and in compliance with the military code of conduct”.

Seems clear that the Thai forces deployed the DPICM – a cluster munition – while the Cambodians are said to have used a standard and pretty old rocket launcher. Everything else is chatter designed to confuse the issue long enough for it to fade, being replaced by another headline. That’s standard practice for this government (think forced repatriation sveral times, inhumane treatment of migrant workers, censorship, political prisoners, etcetra, etcetera).

As far as PPT can tell, Prime Minister Abhisit has remained silent on this matter. That’s a pretty good indication that he sees this issue as a no-win situation for him. Teflon Mark wants to distance himself from this “traditional” cover up that will, as always, see no action against the “beloved” military backers of the regime.



One response

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

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

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