Further updated: Accounts and pleas from the crackdown, killings and burning

20 05 2010

Asia Times online has a story by William Barnes. Thailand’s Troubles has an important eye witness account from the ground at Rajaprasong. The NYT story is here.

Arresting red shirts by the score

The SMH has a video report embedded in, oddly, a standard letter from the Thai Ambassador to Australia complaining about the Hartcher article on the king reaping what he has sown. The interesting new paragraph is this: “Law enforcement officers could have crushed the protesting Red Shirts at any time, but their self-restraint is due to the fact that innocent civilians must be distinguished from the armed troublemakers, and the innocent ones must be unharmed. So, it takes time. Of course, all the individuals concerned, including law enforcement officers and their superiors, will be held criminally responsible for the perpetration of any criminal acts. This is what the rule of law is all about.”

Can anyone take such a claim seriously? PPT can’t.

Andrew Walker has an interpretation of events in the WSJ.

This plea from a reader: “Dear our International Friends,

We need help from you.  We have to start thinking about how we can help our Red Shirts leaders and brothers-and-sisters in Thailand who may face abuses.  Whoever saw any news/posts on this issue please save them and we should plan to bring all these to the attention of the World.  I heard that Arisman was arrested and later was denied by the military— that’s not a good sign.  I don’t have any plan yet but if you have any ideas or suggestions please let me know.  I think this is one of urgent issue krub. Thanks.

PPT agrees. Send us anything and we will be pleased to pass it on. Thailand requires more international attention and scrutiny. One important reason is that the Democrat Party-led and military backed regime of Abhisit Vejjajiva has already started an international campaign that is a cover-up. They got away with murder on April 10 and they think they can do it again.

Update: CNN has a backgrounder with video. The Times Online includes a useful report, including the announcement of a continuing curfew for another three nights. The BBC reports more than 30 buildings burned in Bangkok.

Further updated: See Thailand’s Trouble on the beginnings of erasure and aftermath photos. Be aware that the latter includes photos of the dead at Wat Pathumwanaram, including a monk.

Campaign for Suwicha at NM

15 07 2009

Andrew Walker and Nicholas Farrelly at New Mandala have suggested a smart new publicity campaign in support of Suwicha Thakor. On 3 June 2009, Thong Dee, a Thai elephant at the Sydney Zoo, gave birth to a male calf.  The Zoo is calling for public entries for a contest to name the elephant.  New Mandala is calling for readers to submit the suggestion of the name “Suwicha” for the elephant calf — to draw public attention to his case.

Read and link to action here: 15 July 2009, “A campaign for Suwicha”

The royal context of the political crisis

14 04 2009

Andrew Walker and Nicholas Farrelly of the Australian National University and of New Mandala have produced a useful and insightful article in the Australian online magazine Inside Story (14 April 2009: “Thailand’s royal sub-plot”).

The article provides essential context for the current political crisis in Thailand, beginning: “When Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva launched his crackdown on red-shirt protesters on Sunday night, one of his first acts was to post army units around Chitralada Palace, the Bangkok residence of Thailand’s king. It was a routine security measure but, in the current climate, it was an act rich in symbolism.” The article discusses the lifting of the veil on royal politics, academic discussion of the political role of the monarchy, lesè majesté, and discusses why army generals and privy councilors Prem Tinsulanond and Surayud Chulanont are important political actors, and more.

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