Further updated: Saturday’s rally I

18 09 2020

With heavy rain predicted, the rally planned for Saturday may be dampened. That said, there’s plenty of media coverage of what to expect.

There are citizen reports that police and military are preventing people from the provinces joining the protest.

One useful set of observations is provided by Prachatai a couple of days ago. Associated Press has a story that claims there are “jangling nerves in Bangkok, with apprehension about how far student demonstrators will go in pushing demands for reform of Thailand’s monarchy and how the authorities might react.”

Clipped from Khaosod

While AP says that “organizers plan to march to Government House, the prime minister’s offices, to hand over petitions,” this is no longer true as Khaosod reports that the protesters “will not go to the Government House,” [with a] … coordinator, who only identified herself as View, [saying] … “I can’t tell you just now where we will march to.”

Khaosod also reports on regime preparations:

Riot police are prepared to use force against the protesters should they fail to steer clear of the royal properties on Saturday, according to an internal document obtained by Khaosod English.

The 110-page document was reportedly prepared by the Metropolitan Police Bureau and used in a recent briefing with multiple police agencies. The plan calls for deployment of riot police to defend strategic choke points around the Grand Palace, the Royal Plaza, and Chitralada Royal Villa in Bangkok during the two-day protest planned for this weekend.

The Government House, the target of the demonstration on Sunday morning, is also declared out of bounds by police.

While the police rejected the document as belonging to them, this seems a ruse. Its details are scary and dumb (or, if one is conspiratorial, strategic) in making “royal properties” a target for anyone who wishes to generate violence. The document lists responses planned:

Riot dispersal gears such as shotguns, rubber bullets, tear gas canisters, acoustic control devices, and water trucks are ordered to be on standby for deployment, according to the alleged document. Drone jamming equipment and “anti-sniper” squads will be deployed as well.

“Anti-sniper” squads seems to mean that police snipers may be in place. Back in 2010, snipers were used against protesters and to take out particular targets, with some 200,000 rounds of ammunition, including 500 sniper rounds used in military operations in April and May 2010. Other reports were of thousands of sniper rounds used.

For international reports: BBC, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times.

Update 1: Khaosod’s report on “royal properties.” Deputy PM Gen Prawit Wongsuwan has said: “Don’t go to the Royal Plaza…. [Police] will have to defend it…”. He was supported by recent convert to royalism Jatuporn Promphan, who “warned the protesters against crossing the point of no return by stepping into the royal grounds.”

Assistant national police commissioner, Lt. Gen. Damrongsak Kittiprapat, says “57 companies of riot police, or 8,550 men, were mobilized from around the country to handle this weekend’s protest.”

Update 2: More on Jatuporn’s royalism.





No justice

19 05 2019

Human Right Watch has issued a statement on the anniversary of the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime’s bloody military crackdown on red shirt protesters in 2010. We reproduce bits of it here.

Thai authorities have failed to punish policymakers, military commanders, and soldiers responsible for the deadly crackdown on “Red Shirt” protests in May 2010, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 4, 2019, the military prosecutor decided not to indict eight soldiers accused of fatally shooting six civilians in Bangkok’s Wat Pathumwanaram temple on May 19, 2010.

“Despite overwhelming evidence, Thai authorities have failed to hold officials accountable for gunning down protesters, medics, and reporters during the bloody crackdown in 2010,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “The military prosecutor’s decision to drop the case against eight soldiers is the latest insult to families of victims who want justice.”

The military prosecutor dismissed the case on the grounds that there was no evidence and no witnesses to the killing. This decision contradicted the Bangkok Criminal Court’s inquest in August 2013, which found that the residue of bullets inside the victims’ bodies was the same type of ammunition issued to soldiers operating in the area at the time of the shooting. Based on information from the Justice Ministry’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI), witness accounts, and other evidence, the inquest concluded that soldiers from the Ranger Battalion, Special Force Group 2, Erawan Military Camp fired their assault rifles into the temple from their positions on the elevated train track in front of Wat Pathumwanaram temple….

According to the DSI, at least 98 people died and more than 2,000 were injured….

The high number of casualties—including unarmed protesters, volunteer medics, reporters, photographers, and bystanders—resulted in part from the government’s enforcement of “live fire zones” around the UDD protest sites in Bangkok, where sharpshooters and snipers were deployed….

All those criminally responsible should be held to account whatever their political affiliation or official position. But over the past nine years, there have been a series of cover-ups that have ensured impunity for senior government officials and military personnel. Successive Thai governments charged UDD leaders and supporters with serious criminal offenses but ignored rights abuses by soldiers. Under pressure from the military, deliberately insufficient investigative efforts have been made to identify the soldiers and commanding officers responsible for the shootings. Criminal and disciplinary cases were dropped in 2016 against former prime minister Abhisit, his deputy Suthep Thaugsuban, and former army chief Gen. Anupong Paojinda…. Thai authorities have targeted for intimidation and prosecution witnesses and families of the victims who demand justice.

It is outrageous that the military has been allowed to walk away scot-free from deadly crimes committed in downtown Bangkok,” Adams said….





No remembering allowed I

13 05 2017

The junta continues to try to censor and repress, several times going into royalist overload in its efforts.

Part of its work is to effectively change history. Whether it wanted to or not, the theft and vandalism of the 1932 plaque caused the dictatorship to line up with their king in saying the past is best forgotten (in fact) and replaced with mythical legends about good kings and the current one (the silk purse-sow’s ear notion).

Other facts are simply ignored. What happened to the murdered Chaiyapoom Pasae? Best forgotten and swept under a military tarpaulin. And so on, ad infinitum.

While on history and this regime, or at least the devils running it, those people killed in 2010. Either they were republican dupes of a Svengali or they can be swept aside as deserving of death as bad people (or both).

It is no surprise to learn from The Nation that the military junta has prevented a “commemoration of late Maj-General Khattiya Sawasdipol…”.

Known as Seh Daeng, he was murdered with a single sniper shot to the head “during the 2010 red-shirt demonstrations against the Abhisit [Vejjajiva] government…”. As the high buildings were occupied by government troops, it may be assumed that the shooter was ordered to take out Seh Daeng by the Abhisit regime and military leaders including General Prayuth Chan-ocha and General Anupong Paojinda.

Former deputy prime minister Chalerm Yubamrung “claimed in 2012 that a group of senior police officers were behind the assassination…”, although we’d bet it was military snipers.

Colonel Winthai Suvaree, a spokesperson for the military junta “insisted that there was no attempt to thwart the family’s commemoration plan, but the event could be considered politically motivated,” so it was banned.

Seh Daeng’s daughter is unimpressed with the junta’s call for “cooperation” and forget about the commemoration of his murder.

She “insisted she would today go to Sala Daeng intersection on Silom Road in the capital to lay flowers and light candles to commemorate her father at the location where he was fatally wounded by a sniper.”

Ms Khattiyaa said she received a phone call from a police officer on Thursday, who said he was instructed by the army to ask about what she intended to do to mark the seven-year anniversary of her father’s death.

She “questioned why authorities want to prevent her and her sister from expressing gratitude and commemorating their father.”

Military dictatorship spokesman, and probably involved in the planning of the sniper attack, Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said “in ordinary merit-making ceremonies, the NCPO [junta] always gives permission if the activities have no political implications.”

We assume he means ceremonies already deemed “political” for we doubt other merit-making  needs junta approval. But perhaps we have missed another expansion of the use of the junta boot.

Junta spokesman Winthai reckoned the fire-breathing anti-red shirts at the 1st Army Region are the ones swinging the boot in this case.

You get the picture. A couple of women are considered political threats to the junta because they might just challenge the junta’s history of Thailand or cause people to remember.





Lying under orders

21 09 2013

Reading an account of testimony by soldiers about their role as snipers in May 2010, PPT can’t help but wonder if they are providing false accounts under orders from the top brass. The account has been provided Master Sergeant Kacharat Niamrord during an inquest into the shooting deaths of Mana Saenpreasertsri and Ponsawan Nakachai. The two men were shot on 15 May 2010 on Rama IV Road.

Master Sergeant Kacharat is the soldier in the video below, acting as kind of a spotter in this sniper team. He is the one who tells the shooter, Sergeant Sarinkarn Taweecheep, that the target is down and to cease firing. Sarinkarn ignores this and fires again.

According to Sergeant Kacharat, there was considerable shooting in the area, and at about 3 p.m., he “switched from a shotgun to an M-16 rifle armed with sniper scope and blank rounds.” He insisted that his team “was merely firing blank rounds.”

Such a claim would appear to fly in the face of the video evidence and logic. Snipers are not usually deployed for crowd control as their role is to kill enemies.

So this claim can only be a lie. It is so nonsensical that it suggests that the sergeant has been ordered to make the claim. He seems unable to explain the events of the video  with other than the horse manure that the military brass has long had as its stock answers. Kacharat’s claim he “had no idea at which direction the Sergeant was aiming” and that “he saw no one shot throughout the firing” is adding more fertilizer to the very large pile belonging to his bosses.





Remembering 2010

19 05 2013

As another anniversary of the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime’s army-led crackdown on red shirts is upon us, it is worth recalling that it is only a year or so ago that the Department of Special Investigation reported its investigations of the deaths.

DSI stated back then that state authorities “may be responsible for the deaths of at least 25 people…”.

Since then, while the DSI under the Yingluck Shinawatra has made some moves towards having Abhisit and Suthep Thaugsuban held responsible, it seems the army brass is again sitting in the world of unconscionable impunity (more on this below).

A series of recent reports reflect on the tragic events of 2010 and on the events since.

At the Red Shirts blog, it is reported that on 12 May 2013, a hearing finally:

took place at the Bangkok Criminal Court on the investigation and autopsy reports concerning 6 corpses found inside the Pathumwan Temple grounds. These victims were shot dead during the government suppression of the UDD protest on May 19, 2010.

Police investigators found bullet holes and:

reported that many more bullet holes could be found all over the temple grounds. Bullet holes were found on a metal sign in front of the temple, on the wall of the temple, on the advertisement sign under the BTS sky train, on the sky walk connecting the sky train stations, on the overpass and many more on the concrete platforms of the sky train.

Soldiers denied investigators access to the sky train tracks and the sky walk area.

Police ballistic analysis showed “23 bullet holes found on the temple grounds and Rama 1 Road …indicated that these shots had been fired from a higher angle and definitely not from a horizontal line of fire.” There was no evidence reported of shots from inside the temple.

At the Bangkok Post it is reported that the “parents of a boy who was killed as security forces moved in to clear the Ratchaprasong area … claim …  not enough is being done to find the people responsible for their son’s death.”

Pansak Srithep, was the father of 17-year-old Samapan, his only son. Samapan was killed on Ratchaprarop Road, where several people were shot dead. Pansak said “it has been draining for him and other families of those killed during the unrest to struggle to find witnesses willing to appear in court.”

Pansak “wants the government … to do more to help, and said investigators could do more to help with the court cases.” He claimed the Yingluck government “lacked the will to help…”.

The Bangkok Post states that there are currently “37 cases are at the initial inquest stage,” while “[a]nother 15 cases, including the death of Japanese cameraman Hiroyuki Muramoto and six deaths at Wat Pathum Wanaram, are at a stage where authorities are still determining if the security forces were responsible.” Another four cases “are awaiting a decision from prosecutors as to whether they will proceed,” and five others, “including that of Maj Gen Khattiya Sawatdiphol, known as Seh Daeng,” are at initial stages of police investigation.

The family of Kamolkate Akkahad, a medic shot at Wat Pathum Wanaram, are “also dismayed by the slow progress…”. They “will not join the main [official red shirt] stage during the event on Sunday.”army-snipers

At Prachatai it is reported that on 29 April, “the Criminal Court began an inquest into the deaths of Mana Saenprasoetsi and Phonsawan Nakhachai who were shot at Bon Kai on Rama IV Rd on 15 May 2010…”. They were two of 16 killed at this location, where video evidence shows army operations, including snipers.

Mana “was fatally shot in the back of the head near the mouth of Soi Ngam Duplee … while he was trying to help people who had been shot there.” Phonsawan, who was assisted by Mana later succumbed to his stomach gunshot wound.

Mana’s  mother Naree stated he was shot “while holding a red-cross flag in his hand”and helping two others who had been shot.

Soon after his death, the authorities (mis)used photos of Mana to justify actions that took place some distance from where he was shot.

Another story at the Bangkok Post directs attention to red shirt dissent on the Puea Thai government’s amnesty push:

Some red shirts see the proposal championed by Deputy Premier Chalerm Yubamrung as a betrayal because it would cover senior Democrat Party figures who were in government when the military crackdown on the Bangkok rally took place three years ago Sunday.

Of course, the anti-Thaksin Shinawatra lot oppose amnesty as a move to bring the man home. Thaksin is due to address supporters via videolink this weekend.

As PPT has stated several times, a blanket amnesty “would simply perpetuate the culture of impunity in Thailand, where senior figures rarely take responsibility for anything…”. The report adds:

Prominent scholars have been criticising the Pheu Thai flip-flop in social media forums. They include Nitirat Group core member Piyabutr Saengkanokkul; Thammasat University scholars Kasian Tejapira and Somsak Jeamteerasakul. Hard-core red-shirt activists Nithiwat Wannasiri, Jittra Kotchadet and Suda Rungkuphan also oppose the Chalerm plan.

 They say the party is betraying the red-shirt rank and file, as if a hundred deaths and a thousand injuries were simply the price to pay for the party’s compromise with the old establishment for the sake of its own survival.

PPT reiterates that those responsible for the murder of civilians must be brought to justice as an important step to rooting out the culture of impunity that state officials and the military has when murdering civilians.





Updated: Soldiers and murdered protesters

12 04 2013

There have been several reports in the media regarding the red shirt commemoration of the events that began the deaths and injuries, overwhelmingly to protesters, during April and May 2010. Curiously, many of these reports have spent more time attending to the military version of events and to the relatively few deaths of soldiers in these events.

To be sure, any death is significant, but the weight of death, injury and resulting imprisonments were almost all suffered by red shirt protesters. It almost seems that certain parties in Thailand allocated far more value to soldiers than they do to protesters. This may reflect an elitist resentment of little people getting uppity and them “needing” to be “put in their place” or it may reflect a political passion for denigrating red shirts as being somewhat less than full people; think of the ideas about restricting voting and continually referring to red shirts as “buffaloes.”

PPT was struck by the Bangkok Post‘s reporting of red shirt “activities on Wednesday to remember the protesters killed in street clashes with security forces on April 10 three years ago,” which is immediately followed by the observation that “the army commander could not hide his frustration at the long delay in the investigation into the deaths of his soldiers in the fight at Khok Wua.”

While the figures vary, some 25 people were killed in the clashes on 10 April when soldiers were ordered to clear the red shirts from their Rajadamnoen protest site. Some 20 of the dead were civilians civilians and five were identified as soldiers.More than 800 were injured, many from the effects of tear gas.

An AP photo from the Telegraph: Protesters surround the coffins which will be used for the bodies of their comrades killed in clashes with troops.

An AP photo from the Telegraph: Protesters surround the coffins which will be used for the bodies of their comrades killed in clashes with troops.

The military initially lied that it used rubber bullets and tear gas in the clash, however evidence from the international and local media was clear that soldiers fired assault rifles and there were claims that there were army snipers at work. The protesters seized a large quantity of military weapons, including assault rifles, and heavy caliber weapons and ammunition as the military fled.

After telling its readers almost nothing about the commemoration or the 20 people killed, the Bangkok Post goes on to make a big deal of Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha aending a “firm message to the UDD and investigators working on the case, reminding then soldiers were among the victims of April 10, 2010.” Perhaps his “firm message” should have been an apology for tyhe Army yet again having killed protesters on the streets of Bangkok. The Army’s assassination of protesters is so regular as to be normal in Thailand.

When Prayuth bleats that “the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) was dragging its feet in the investigation of the deaths and injuries among the soldiers,” any reasonable person might ask why the Army commanders, including Prayuth, are not held responsible for their murderous attacks on civilians. Recall that one of Prayuth’s “explanations” for the deaths of protesters is that it could not have been his boys, because if the Army was involved they would have murdered many more!

When Prayuth moans that “[t]hose responsible for the losses must be found, even though both sides claimed they had not done anything wrong. Soldiers are also citizens of Thailand,” he merely deflecting attention from the Army’s heinous record of murdering its own citizens.

When he says “[a]ll sides were entitled to justice,” he should explain why the military has repeatedly refused to provide testimony and evidence to various investigations. The explanation is simple: the Army has impunity. The military has repeatedly and falsely stated that it killed no one in April and May.

The Post story is about covering up the military’s crimes because a few soldiers were killed while engaged in violent crackdowns on its citizens. Perhaps the military brass does feel pressure from families of these unfortunate soldiers and the brass is used to not having to explain any of their criminal actions.

Abhsit Vejjajiva, whose government ordered two violent crackdowns and who faces charges related to the death of protesters, is cited as if he is an innocent bystander demanding “truth.”  Of course, the disingenuous Abhisit claims he ordered no crackdown; somehow the prime minister was just along for the ride when such decisions were made, presumably by his military tutors…. All he can complain about is men in black, his mantra for exonerating the Army of its responsibility. Even if we were to accept that there were unidentified MiB, it wasn’t them, whoever they are and whoever they worked for, who ordered the clearing of the protesters or the initial use of war weapons, snipers and live ammunition against protesters who had been pretty much peaceful.

The uninitiated reading the Bangkok Post could be forgiven for thinking that the military was the victim. As we have stated time and again in much earlier posts, the body count is clear. The Army killed protesters and they did so on the orders of their political and military leaders.

Update: The Red Shirt blog has a photo gallery of the events held on the commemoration of 10 April and a link to one analysis of the events.





Snipers and the Democrat Party

22 10 2012

It is certainly no surprise that Puea Thai Party MP and red-shirt leader Korkaew Pikulthong should be reported as telling the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) that the Democrat Party government led by Abhisit Vejjajiva “had given security officers the green light to deploy snipers for crowd control.”

What is surprising is that he claims to have a witness – a police officer – who is willing to testify. Korkaew states that this senior policemen gave him the information when Korkaew was “detained at the Border Patrol Police’s Naresuan camp in Phetchaburi province” following the 2010 crackdown.

The “police lieutenant-colonel told him that the Centre for Resolution of the Emergency Situation had instructed the Border Patrol Police to deploy snipers to rein in the crowds.”

More startlingly, the policeman “claimed that the soldiers had coerced policemen into validating the discovery of military weapons that were found after the crowd-dispersal operation was completed.”

It remains to be seen if this claimed evidence can be produced. PPT is sure that there is a document trail as well, for Abhisit is sure to have ensured “rule of law” in this matter.





Counting the ammo used against red shirts

22 09 2012

Readers who have followed the reporting of the Battle for Bangkok may recall that some time ago a parliamentary committee reported on the ammunition used by the Army in the period of the crackdown on red shirt protesters in April and May 2010. Back then PPT posted an account that reported on this. The report stated:

597,500 rounds of ammunition were disbursed by the army from its arsenal to support the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation’s activities from 11 Mar until the end of the rallies, and 479,577 rounds were returned.  That means that 117,923 were used. The total number includes 3,000 sniper rounds of which 880 were returned, and 10,000 blank rounds of which 3,380 were returned….

Now the Bangkok Post has more figures on the use of ammunition, based on the account provided by the Truth for Reconciliation Commission:

… 597,500 bullets were drawn and 479,577 were returned. The TRC’s report also contained a chart showing the types of ammunition used…. About 59% were shotgun shells, 30% 5.56x45mm ammunition, 8% .308 bullets, 2% blanks and the remaining 1% 7.62x51mm sniper bullets.

The number of rounds fired is exactly the same as in the earlier report.However, the Bangkok Post reports states that the military disputes the figures. Remarkably, the military-sourced figures are higher! The Post states: “Almost 200,000 rounds of ammunition, including 500 sniper rounds, were used in military operations to crack down on red-shirt protesters in April and May 2010, according to an army source.”

It is claimed that after the TRC’s report was released, “the army rechecked the amount of ammunition used during the operations and found the number to be higher than that reported by the TRC.”

The army’s report is that 778,750 rounds were distributed for shooting at red shirt protesters and others. A total of 586,801 rounds were returned, which meant 191,949 were expended. While the figures don’t quite add up as set out in the article, of the used rounds, 52,729 were from shotguns, with 90,016 rubber shot cartridges also used.

The rest of the numbers in the report refer to various kinds of “5.56x45mm” ammunition, all of which seem compatible with various of the rifles used by the army, and 5,000 “other types of ammunition.”

It seems that the Army is trying to show that it really didn’t use any ammunition that can be stated to be “sniper cartridges, such as 7.62 mm, such as SIG-Sauer SSG 3000 and SR-25. Rounds for these weapons are presumably included in the “other types of ammunition,” where all of the issued ammunition was used.

As non-military types, it seems to us that the use of 200,000 rounds is quite remarkable.

 




Weng keeps pressure on Army

11 09 2012

The Nation has a short report about red shirt leader and Puea Thai Party parliamentarian questioning the truthfulness of the Army boss General Prayuth Chan-ocha.

Weng claims to have “checked” and found that the “military did not have rubber bullets during the time of the riots [military crackdowns].” Hence, he “dismissed” the Army chief’s “statement that the military used rubber bullets during the red-shirt riots [sic.] in 2010.”

PPT is not sure if Weng has been accurately quoted or the exact context of his statement, but there are plenty of reports at the time that suggest rubber ammunition was available and used, along with plenty of “live ammunition” (see here, here, here and here). In fact, the initial report by Amsterdam & Peroff (see p. 14), states that such projectiles were fired from shotguns on 10 April 2010. Perhaps Weng is referring to the claim that snipers used rubber bullets with M16s, and questioning that.

Weng is also reported to have given the “Department of Special Investigation a list of 39 sharp-shooters appointed by the Centre for Resolution of the Emergency Situation. He asked the agency to reveal details about the appointment of the sharpshooters, their operation, and sites they were stationed at.”

At the time, it was widely reported that the Abhisit government’s CRES deployed snipers:

An army spokesman said security forces would surround the anti-government protest site in the heart of Bangkok with armoured vehicles from 6pm local time (11am GMT) to prevent more demonstrators entering the area. “No one would be allowed in,” the spokesman, Col Sunsern Kaewkumnerd, told AFP. “Snipers will be deployed in the operation.”

Weng also asked:

“DSI to probe the death of Sergeant First Class Pongchalit Pittayanontakan on May 17, 2010 near Silom, to try to find out if he was killed by a militia force or security officials. The MP said he also wanted the report on Pongchalit’s autopsy and those on Col Romklao Thuwatham and Private Narongrit Sala. He also submitted a picture of a sharpshooter that he wanted the DSI to summon for investigation.

Weng and the red shirts are keeping the pressure on the Army and the Yingluck Shinawatra government for an accounting of the deaths and injuries in 2010. The pressure may well intensify as the anniversary of the 2006 military coup approaches.

As a footnote to this report, PPT draws attention to The Nation’s use of “riots” twice in the article to describe the events of 2010. A riot is usually considered to be civil disorder that is characterized by disorganized acts by unorganized groups acting in a sudden and often very intense violence directed against state, property or people. Riots are often generated by civil unrest but are typically chaotic. The events of 2010 do not, for PPT, generally fit this description, and The Nation uses “riot” to diminish the significance of the uprising and to justify the Abhisit Vejjajiva-led government’s use of brutal force against red shirts.





Soldiers would have killed more

2 09 2012

Loud-mouth Army boss General Prayuth Chan-ocha has been at it again. The Bangkok Post reports that the general has declared that “If soldiers wanted to kill civilians, a lot of them would have died.”

So let’s get this right…. The Army couldn’t have killed civilians and red shirt protesters because if they were killing red shirts, they would have killed a lot more of them the the 80+ who were murdered in April and May 2010. The deaths have to be put down to less efficient and skilled murderers than the Army.

At the same time, the Army mouth-in-chief also “reassured soldiers he will protect them from allegations they might face from their involvement in the political unrest two years ago.” He says they had “performed their duty based on laws so don’t be afraid, the army will protect them…”.

We need to get this right too. The Army, which didn’t murder anybody, and if they had would have killed more, can’t be blamed because those who didn’t kill anybody were doing their duty under orders from the Abhisit Vejjajiva government.

The Army was going to protect the soldiers involved in, well, nothing…. And, all the fuss has to do with the media that has “played up” the affair and the claims of snipers, and he admits to being “bothered” by the whole affair.

In fact, there is another way to look at Prayuth’s nonsensical and imaginative but illogical ranting. He’s “bothered” that the Army is going to face legal action for doing its “duty” of protecting the elite’s state by killing civilians it sees as opponents: in, for example, under General Sarit, 1973-76, in 1992, at Tak Bai and Kru Se and in 2009 and 2010.