Many readers will know that, last week, a Criminal Court declared that six persons killed on Wat Pathum Wanaram on 19 May 2010 were shot by the soldiers. The court states that five were shot by the soldiers situated on the BTS sky train track above the temple, with the sixth shot by soldiers stationed on Rama I Road.
That seemed pretty clear, but not for Army boss General Prayuth Chan-ocha. The outspoken general is reported at Khaosod as insisting “that the military was not involved in the deaths of 6 civilians shot dead as they sought shelter inside a temple during the 2010 military crackdown.”
In one sense this should not be surprising as the military has repeatedly “denied any involvement, despite stacks of evidences and witness′ accounts.”
Prayuth “insisted that he never gave order to kill civilians. None of his commanding officers ever admitted they had shot any civilian…”.
Adding to the the mood of rejection of courts, evidence and reality, Prayuth is joined by former Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban. Also reported at Khaosod, The newspaper points this out:
… the more mind-boggling denial of what happened in 2010 appears to rest with the Democrats, who have repeatedly argued that the military operating under Mr. Abhisit [Vejjajiva]′s government have not killed any civilian or protester throughout the crackdown….
Continuing this mind-boggling denial, with Suthep speaking in parliament, again “denied that the military ever used excessive violence against the protesters.” His explanation was appropriately royalist:
“The soldiers were loyal to His Majesty the King. They knew they were the nation′s troops. They acted according to my orders within the lawful power.” Mr. Suthep announced to the Parliament. He said a group of unknown individuals was responsible for any death.
Remarkably, despite considerable evidence to the contrary, Suthep claimed (again) that there were no snipers at work shooting down red shirts.
Even more remarkable and showing not a shred of normal human emotion or sense, Suthep reportedly responded: “Maybe your father was shot by one of your own people?”
Such responses derive not just from reprehensible elite arrogance but from the history of impunity for state officials who murder citizens.