Revised: 2010 justice or the end of old politicians?

27 02 2015

Back in 2010 when the Abhisit Vejjajiva government planned the crackdown on red shirt protesters, the military commanders of the murderous operation were Generals Prayuth Chan-ocha, Anupong Paojinda and Prawit Wongsuwan.

Khaosod reports that the National Anti-Corruption Commission “has begun impeachment procedures against former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his deputy Suthep Thaugsuban for authorizing a military crackdown on Redshirt protesters in 2010 that left over 90 people dead.”

While we welcome any legal measures that give attention to the military’s murder of its own citizens in 2010, we remain bemused by the notion that a former premier can be retrospectively “impeached” years after they have left office.

The NACC states that Abhisit and Suthep “should be charged” with “abuse of power” for “failing to stop” the use of “excessive violence” in the crackdown on red shirts. The junta puppets in the National Legislative Assemblywill consider the cases and the leaders of the Democrat Party led government could be banned from politics for 5 years.

For us this is insufficient. The two former leaders of the (anti)Democrat Party and its military commanders should face a murder trial.

We note that Suthep has been in a monastery since the coup, “avoiding politics.” We can only guess that there were reasons for this hide related to the military’s renewal of its political mandate via the coup.

Interestingly, on the “men in black” that the military and Abhisit and Suthep have always claimed, with almost no evidence, caused some or all of the deaths, the NACC says the red shirt protest area “was not wholly composed of violent or armed elements, but also demonstrators without weapons, and other civilians who were not related to the rallies.”

It also noted “previous court inquests that have attributed the deaths of some civilians to security officers.”

Khaosod also reports that Abhisit whined that military commanders should be questioned about their role.

Remarkably, The Dictator, General Prayuth, has said that”he is willing to provide testimony to Thailand’s anti-graft agency about his role as a top army commander in the 2010 military crackdown…”. As far as we can recall, he’s never been “willing” before, and has been downright hostile to any investigation.

Prayuth was asked if the “investigation will affect the reputation of the military,” and he responded with his usual line: “How will that affect the military? The officers were performing their work.” He then got excited about men in black, demanding very loudly:

“I want to ask you about this fact: were there armed people among the civilians? Were there? Answer me loudly. Were there Blackshirts among the Redshirts? Did they shoot at the soldiers? If so, then it’s over.”

No one seems to have ever identified, arrested or investigated a man in black.

We can’t imagine the NACC doing this investigation without the permission of the military dictatorship. So what is going on?

We do know that the military leadership hates all civilian politicians. It is particularly concerned about pro-Thaksin Shinawatra politicians because they win elections. However, it also dislikes those who can mobilize people, like Suthep. We also know that the military dictatorship also wants to clear the political decks to smooth the path to military-dominated politics in the future. Is this the way they do it?


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16 03 2015
“Managing” witnesses to military murder | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] response brought the military back into the picture with statements about and by Generals Prayuth Chan-ocha, Prawit Wongsuwan and Anupong Paojinda and their roles in the murder of red […]

16 03 2015
“Managing” witnesses to military murder | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] response brought the military back into the picture with statements about and by Generals Prayuth Chan-ocha, Prawit Wongsuwan and Anupong Paojinda and their roles in the murder of red […]