Criticizing the TRC report

25 09 2012

In an earlier post we noted the birth of the blog Red Shirt. One of its first posts looks at an academic discussion of the Truth for Reconciliation Commission’s report on Sunday at Thammasat University.

A panel of “six professors from multiple universities, argued that the report lacks in raw data and fails to condemn the army’s disproportionate use of force in handling the protests of April-May 2010.”

The panel questioned why the TRC report ignored “the crucial question of whether the Committee [PPT: Centre] for the Resolution of Emergency Situation (CRES) complied with international standards when it ordered 60,000 combat-ready soldiers onto the streets of Bangkok.”

The panel also noted the emphasis on “men in black,” that was “based on dubious evidence that would not hold in a court of law.”  Other missing items or glossed over included the arrest of thousands of red shirts by the Army, forced confessions, and a failure to adequately address some of the well-documented killings by security forces.

One academic concluded that the fundamental conservative and elitist bias of the report was a failure: “Democracy is about conflict, bargaining, and fighting for rights. You can’t be a democratic country if you tell everybody to shut up, smile and move on.”





Muddling the TRC report

24 09 2012

PPT saw three international media stories today that managed to misrepresent the Truth for Reconciliation Commission. One in the Sydney Morning Herald, another at Radio Australia, and the third at Pakistan’s Daily Times. The latter is listed as an AFP report, and all three, while having different names as authors/sources say almost the same thing: that the TRC called for Thaksin Shinawatra to stay out of politics.

As far as PPT is aware, this is inaccurate, although readers may want to correct us. As we understand it, the comment that Thaksin stay out of politics was made by TRC chairman Kanit na Nakhon in a personal comment at the end of the launch of the TRC report. The Pakistan report claims that the statement was in “an English-language statement released alongside the report.” PPT searched the English-language summary of the report released on that day, but there is no statement on Thaksin.

At the time, PPT commented on Kanit’s statement:

This is a suggestion that has to be read for what it doesn’t say. Kanit’s call is for Thaksin, Thailand’s most popular elected leader ever to step aside. Pro-Thaksin parties have won every election since 2000, usually by a substantial margin. Yet Kanit wants him to stay out of politics.  Kanit seems to think that Thaksin,  because the elite hates him, needs to sacrifice himself. Where’s the impartiality…? Should the king, queen, Prem Tinsulanonda and the military also stand aside from politics (not that they have been elected)?

Hence, when the SMH report states that “Thaksin, a deeply divisive figure in Thai politics…”, we can only wonder why this isn’t a point regularly made about Prem, the king and queen, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, Chamlong Srimuang, Abhisit Vejjajiva and Suthep Thaugsuban. The idea that only Thaksin is “divisive” is royalist nonsense.





TRC on monarchy and lese majeste

24 09 2012

Several days ago PPT promised to look at the Truth for Reconciliation Commission report on the monarchy. We now have the time to do that. In this post we look at its recommendations on the monarchy and on lese majeste.

On the “The Monarchy under the Constitution,” the TRC has three recommendations:

Urgent: All parties stop referring to the Monarchy for the purpose of obtaining political benefit and venerate the institution as being above political wrangling.

Mid-Term: The political sector should establish a method for ensuring that the Monarchy is held above political conflict. Such method should be in accordance with the development of our system of democracy.

Long-Term: The state should support learning and understanding about the Monarchy and the role of the Monarchy in the democratic system. Also, promote creative and peaceful forums for the exchange of opinions.

PPT comments: The TRC adopts a perspective that sees the monarchy as approximating the claims made for it over the period of this reign in the periods where there has been a constitution and the elite decision to develop a political system that describes itself as “a democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State.” This may seem innocuous, but the terminology is deeply embedded in several constitutions and notably, as we have seen in recent months, in Section 68 of the 2007 constitution, which states:

No person shall exercise the rights and liberties prescribed in the Constitution to overthrow the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State under this Constitution or to acquire the power to rule the country by any means which is not in accordance with the modes provided in this Constitution.

In other words, it is illegal and unconstitutional to oppose the current political regime which demands the monarchy be in place. There is no alternative. The TRC is unlikely to challenge such a stipulation, so this is the conservative starting point. Interestingly, however, the TRC implicitly acknowledges the challenge to the monarchy following its very public involvement in the 2006 coup and all the political conflict that followed. In response, it demands that the monarchy be “venerated.” In other words, it is time to reconstruct the myths associated with the monarchy and politics. This is further emphasized in the recommendation that the “state should support learning and understanding about the Monarchy and the role of the Monarchy in the democratic system.” In other words, government of whatever party or group has to work to re-establish the monarchy’s mythic position. Part of that, it seem, is creating a space where people can discus the monarchy without being charged and jailed as republicans under the lese majeste law.

On the lese majeste law, the recommendations are set out in the same manner:

Urgent: The agencies of the justice [system] should avoid enforcing the lèse majesté law by using broader interpretation than the law itself stipulates. Further, that they do not use criminal prosecution in an overly strict way with lack of direction, and not taking into account the sensitive nature of these cases. The state should promote the use of discretion by agencies in the justice system involved in the proceedings of lèse majesté in a way appropriate to the nature of the offence.

Mid-Term: The state should arrange for the process of public participation that allows a variety of opinions to find the appropriate way to the amendment of lèse majesté law.

Long-Term: The state should amend the current lese majeste laws by first studying the criminal policies of other countries that have the monarchy so as to find the appropriate approach to the amendment. The state proceeds for the integration of work of the agencies that enforce the lèse majesté law so that they can categorize and screen relevant cases to proceed.

PPT comments: The TRC implicitly acknowledges that the lese majeste law has been used for political purposes; no big news there. It calls for both less strict enforcement (which was the norm prior to the coup) and attention to the sensitive nature of the charge. In fact, the “sensitivity” of the law and monarchy is one of the reasons those charged are seldom given bail and with remarkable pressure to plead guilty so that no evidence is ever discussed in court. The suggestion that the law be amended based on experience in other countries really doesn’t move the debate anywhere, as the problem is the very existence of the law that restricts free speech and thinking. There is no serious consideration of abolishing the law.

In the end, the TRC presents a kind of “thinking royalist” – if that is not an oxymoron – approach. Amend the law, keep the law and ensure that it remains available for the protection of the monarchy and the system of government that maintains the monarchy. There’s nothing particularly new in anything the TRC says, with the older generation of royalists like Anand Panyarachun, Prawase Wasi and others have made in the past.





More on TRC matters

23 09 2012

Readers have been active in sending PPT material related to the Truth for Reconciliation Commission. Two of the most interesting are mentioned here.

First, a reader points out to us that we missed a link in the TRC report. In an earlier post, we commented on the Wall Street Journal (also here) op-ed on the Truth for Reconciliation Commission report by Asia regional director of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue Michael Vatikiotis. We stated:

In the first place, is his moniker a full disclosure of his relationship to the TRC? Vatikiotis has been working with several state and other bodies in Thailand on various “humanitarian dialogue” issues including the south and rumors of involvement in palace-Thaksin Shinawatra negotiations. Suddenly, he has popped up at the release of the TRC report and now as a booster for the report…. When Vatikiotis notes that “the commission drew on extensive international advice and support,” it would be useful to know if he and the HD Centre had a role with the TRC.

In fact, pages 18-22 of TRC’s report lists all of the international experts and agencies who joined hands with the TRC and supported its work. There are three mentions of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. The first is a meeting with “a representative of the Centre … to discuss and support TRC operations.” The second refers to an offer of support and assistance to the TRC. The third mention is of a meeting between TRC Chairman Kanit na Nakhon and Francesc Vendrell, said to have supported reconciliation efforts in several countries, Michael Vatikiotis of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, and two other Centre staff “in the name of the Friends of Thailand Group” (ในนามกลุ่มเพื่อนประเทศไทย) to exchange ideas and views about reconciliation and the positioning of the TRC in terms of the perspective of the international community.

We have no idea who the “Friends of Thailand” are. Do readers know?

Interestingly, the support of the HD Centre to the TRC was the most consistently recognized in the report. It seems that Vatikiotis was allocated a role in advocating for the TRC to the international community. Again, though, as we pointed out in the earlier post, HD Centre activities in Thailand are confidential/secret.

Second, a reader reminds PPT of something we had certainly forgotten. This is of Kanit’s earlier incarnation as Attorney-General in the 1990s. Readers may recall that the Chuan Leekpai Democrat Party-led government (1992–1995) fell when members of the Cabinet were implicated in a Sor Phor Kor 4-01 land project documents scandal in Phuket. The aftermath of that case was that the Attorney-General’s office, under Kanit, dropped the cases against those implicated, including wealthy people connected to the Democrat Party. Some of the reaction to that case are found in several reports from the time, here, here, here and here. Recalling the intricate linkages and debts in Thai politics always causes some surprise.





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.

 




Truth?

21 09 2012

As people begin to wade through the Truth for Reconciliation Commission report on the April and May 2010 violence, it seems that the initial public relations exercise of praising the report for “truth, balance, impartiality and fairness” is beginning to drain away in the face of more thoughtful and less propagandist accounts. The huge effort expended on tracing “men in black” – in some accounts there were apparently hundreds of them – seems to amount to almost nothing in the TRC’s report. Bangkok Pundit concludes: “The thought of reading the report given its length and that it really doesn’t tell us much more than what we knew before.”

Pravit Rojanaphruk, who seemed to have a leaked report (and a longer one!), is now more critical in his assessment than in his earlier account. At The Nation he refers to the TRC report as “a missed opportunity to establish truth and reconciliation.” He points out:

It is no secret that the TRCT’s birth was controversial. Then-prime minister Abhisit had hand-picked chairman Kanit na Nakorn and one of the key commissioners, human-rights lawyer Somchai Hom-laor, had shown signs of being partial towards the yellow shirts. In 2006, he had written to old friends asking them not to be too harsh with the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) in 2006.

Pravit adds that: “its credibility was further undermined when it appointed Maetha Maskaow, a former close aide and protege of PAD secretary Suriyasai Katasila, as a member of its investigation subcommittee.”

Hence, all the concentration on “men in black,” which begins to look like a yellow shirt account, is said to have been “presented in far too broad a brushstroke, leading to more questions.” Indeed, for PPT, it is just an account of previous accounts with little added. All it seems to do is look for reasons why the military killed so many. The fact is, the military was shooting before alleged actions by “men in black.”

Pravit points out the spurious claim by the TRC “of knowing the true ‘intentions’ of the ‘men in black’ was never substantiated…”. He concludes:

Nevertheless, without basing its “truth” on clear methodology and evidence that can be widely accepted and trusted on both sides of the political divide, reconciliation is very unlikely and impunity can almost be guaranteed.





What is fair, balanced and impartial?

20 09 2012

Former journalist turned Asia regional director of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue Michael Vatikiotis has an op-ed at the Wall Street Journal (also here) on the Truth for Reconciliation Commission of Thailand report that deserves some critical scrutiny.

In the first place, is his moniker a full disclosure of his relationship to the TRC? Vatikiotis has been working with several state and other bodies in Thailand on various “humanitarian dialogue” issues including the south and rumors of involvement in palace-Thaksin Shinawatra negotiations. Suddenly, he has popped up at the release of the TRC report and now as a booster for the report. His agency claims to have “full-time consultants based across Thailand, Indonesia, Australia and the Philippines,” yet doesn’t list any current activities in Thailand. This is probably because they are secret. As a Bangkok-based operative states, her “role at the HD Centre is to participate in all aspects of mediation operations – two confidential projects in particular…” (in the second part of the Centre’s 2011 annual report). When Vatikiotis notes that “the commission drew on extensive international advice and support,” it would be useful to know if he and the HD Centre had a role with the TRC.

Leaving aside the secretive nature of the HD Centre’s Thailand activities and returning to his WSJ article, Vatikiotis refers to the TRC report as “a reasonably fair and balanced account.” He later adds that it is “a detailed factual account of events that is impartial, if imperfect.”

Nowhere does he mention the origin of the TRC under the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime or the composition of the TRC. Many red shirt commentators have focused exactly on those two points in suggesting that the TRC was inevitably biased from inception. He notes that at the launch of the report, “Red Shirt activists let loose a barrage of questions that were left unanswered at the close of the event.”

Fair, balanced and impartial seem to be terms being thrown about for this report when it isn’t any of these. It is a report completed by a government-appointed body that did not have access to all information and couldn’t answer some quite specific questions. It included members who have been associated with a particular side in the political conflicts it investigates. Perhaps this is why, after all the claims of unbiased and fearlessness at the TRC, at the end of the article, Vatikiotis admits: “Inevitably, and despite valiant efforts to remain impartial by core working members of the commission, the TRCT fell victim to Thailand’s highly polarized political environment.”

Vatikiotis praises the TRC report for being critical of “the military for firing live rounds and provides photographic evidence that soldiers were not just firing into the air, as the army has said.” This is hardly news to anyone. The evidence is enormous; saying it in the TRC report is hardly a breakthrough unless one is a hard core yellow shirt.

While critical of the military and receiving no cooperation from them, the criticism is muted. While commentators including Vatikiotis have claimed that the attention to the military is new and bold, the fact is that the criticism of the military has been so great that the report’s account appears behind the political times.

It is interesting that Vatikiotis notes the TRC report agrees that “unarmed civilians died inside or close by a Buddhist temple that had been declared a safe zone.” It is more interesting that he seems to agree with the report which essentially argues that the soldiers were effectively acting in self-defense, based on the Army’s own statements. Fair, unbiased? No.

PPT does agree with Vatikiotis that the fact that a government-initiated committee has released a report is something of a breakthrough. He argues that “hundreds of civilians have died in such conflicts over the past four decades” and that reports have never been released. We’d suggest thousands have been killed.

But that breakthrough is not reason for an uncritical boostering of the TRC account as “impartial, fair and balanced.” The developing plethora of reports all have to be treated critically. That there are several reports again suggests how far politics has moved in Thailand by the events following the 2006 military coup. Of course, the coup and all of the political conflict of recent years is blamed on Thaksin, not the military and the palace is hardly mentioned.

Vatikiotis says that “the report also presents a set of recommendations aimed at addressing the root causes of the 2010 conflict. The authors placed emphasis on the conduct of the security forces and the impartiality of the justice system.” He adds that these recommendations focus on “access to justice, manipulation of the stringent lese majeste law and the use of the military to manage protests.”

PPT will have more to say on the monarchy and lese majeste in another post.

For all the contrived boosting, Vatikiotis does point to some useful issues, albeit in terms that suggest that the perpetrators of crimes are likely to get off while others suffer, incarcerated for political reasons:

The recommendations calling for reform of the judiciary and the security agencies should get top priority. Next, it would help if leading political figures and officials associated with the unrest issue a public apology, as the report calls for. Although unlikely, some process of accountability should be explored, so long as it is fair and balanced. The government should also address the cases of those facing criminal charges related to the 2010 protests, whose continued detention is a significant issue for the UDD.





Ji rejects TRCT

19 09 2012

Ji Ungpakorn has circulated his reaction to the Truth for Reconciliation Commission report and press conference. PPT reproduces it here:

The Thai Truth for Reconciliation Commission Sides With the Royalist Elites

Giles Ji Ungpakorn

It comes as no surprise that the full report published by the so-called “Truth for Reconciliation Commission” should side with the royalist elites. After all it was set up by the previous military appointed government. Its claims to be “independent” mean only that it is independent of any democratic accountability.

The Commission spends a lot of time talking about the so-called “men in black”, as though there was some kind of civil war between two sets of armed fighters. Yet the real picture, which they try to obscure, is that in 2010 the Abhisit Government and the army deployed tanks, armed soldiers and snipers against an unarmed group of protestors who were demanding democratic elections. We know that snipers fired live rounds against unarmed Red Shirts because the military’s own bullet audit shows this. There are numerous photos and videos of unarmed civilians being shot in the street by soldiers and there are the dead bodies of civilians, killed with military bullets. Nearly all the 90 odd deaths in April and May were civilians killed in this way. A mere handful of soldiers died after a grenade attack in April, probably from a rival military faction, and a couple died later by “friendly fire”. We cannot escape the obvious conclusion that a military-installed government deliberately killed unarmed protestors in order to avoid an election. Those responsible: the Prime Minister at the time and his deputy, the head of the army and the previous head of the army are all guilty of murder. The leaders of the 2006 coup should also be punished. For reconciliation to take place, justice must be done. But the Truth for Reconciliation Commission aims to sweep state crimes under the carpet.

All this commission can say about the army is a limp wrist call, begging the soldiers to be neutral and not to stage coups.

It is a different story when it comes to the monarchy. The Truth for Reconciliation Commission calls for robust measures, using the Lèse Majesté law, to punish those who insult the monarchy. It makes some meaningless suggestions about minor reforms of the law, but does not discuss the fact that the law itself is a serious obstacle to freedom of speech. Neither is there any suggestion that Lèse Majesté prisoners be immediately released.

The Commission says that the government should encourage more discussion about the monarchy in order that the people can understand its importance. Such discussions would not allow any debate about whether Thailand should be a republic. The old conservative excuse about Thai culture is used by the Commission to confirm that Thailand “must” remain with a monarchy and that there must not be any criticism of it. The reality of Thai society is that the monarchy was very unpopular during many periods of history: in the late 19th century, around the 1932 revolution, during the communist war and today.

The Thai monarchy is a political tool of the military, the bureaucracy and big business, who make up the ruling class. Protecting the monarchy is about protecting this class and has little to do with protecting the King himself who is weak and pathetic. The Commission, which is a ghastly off-spring of the ruling class is obviously protecting its own.

One of the reasons that I was charged with Lèse Majesté was because I wrote a book which asked whether the Constitutional Monarch should protect the Constitution from a military coup. Under the proposals from the Truth for Reconciliation Commission I could still face many years in jail for this question. I was lucky enough to manage to leave Thailand and go into exile. But Somyot Pruksakasemsuk and many other Lèse Majesté prisoners are rotting in jail for merely making political statements against the dictatorship after the 2006 coup.

The Truth for Reconciliation Commission report is a farce and a cover-up for the gross abuse of democracy and human rights committed by the Thai state. If people are looking for true reconciliation, they should support the proposals of the Nitirat Group, which seek to end the cycles of coups and build real justice in society.





Further updated: Reporting the TRCT report

17 09 2012

The New York Times has a different angle on the reporting of the Truth for Reconciliation Commission of Thailand’s report released today than seen in several Thai newspapers, where the story has been about so-called men in black.

In this report they are mentioned, but the focus shifts to the use of a sniper to assassinate Maj-Gen Khattiya Sawasdipol, shot while being interviewed by Thomas Fuller of the NYT. There is no surprise that the report says he “was assassinated by a sniper most likely located in a building controlled by the authorities.”

The report cites Sunai Phasuk of Human Rights Watch, who praises the report “as balanced” with “neutral evidence and forensic science.” Sunai adds: “This is the first report in modern Thai political history that investigates violence from all sides…”. Sunai is also quoted in another report, at The Nation (see link below), as saying this was an “impartial inquiry.”

We might note that HRW produced its own report, which Sunai appears to be ditching. PPT is keen to see the forensic evidence because that was entirely missing from the HRW report. At the same time, claims about impartiality should be tempered by the knowledge that the TRCT was established by the Abhisit Vejjajiva administration. Few of its members can be considered impartial on the political conflicts of recent years. That comment doesn’t mean the report can be rejected out of hand. But nor should Sunai be simply lauding the report; it has to be critically assessed.

The NYT report has another interesting comment, observing that “the head of the commission, Kanit Nanakorn, called on Thaksin Shinawatra … to ‘sacrifice’ and withdraw from politics.”

This is a suggestion that has to be read for what it doesn’t say. Kanit’s call is for Thaksin, Thailand’s most popular elected leader ever to step aside. Pro-Thaksin parties have won every election since 2000, usually by a substantial margin. Yet Kanit wants him to stay out of politics.  Kanit seems to think that Thaksin,  because the elite hates him, needs to sacrifice himself. Where’s the impartiality that Sunai lauds? Should the king, queen, Prem Tinsulanonda and the military also stand aside from politics (not that they have been elected)?

The commission’s report gets very partial when it demands that: “All parties must express a clear intent to venerate the monarchy as being above all political conflicts…”. The call seems to be that the monarchy is critical for Thailand. It isn’t, but it is critical for the royalist state and its rule.

At The Nation, the argument seems to be that the TRCT report has to be venerated
for its “impartiality,”  warning that “people should not use the findings to create more rifts.”

However, some prominent red shirts, such as academic Suda Rangkupan, said the report contained more falsehoods than truths. “Who are the killers? No conclusion has been reached about the men in green,” she said, referring to the Army. “There is more false information than fact. It will be the beginning of another round of conflicts.”

As noted above, the TRCT report should be examined and critically considered, not lauded and praised just because the Abhisit Vejjajiva government’s carefully selected commission has finally reported.

Update 1: A reader tells us that the paper edition of the International Herald Tribune in Thailand today stops its report from the NYT at the phrase “vacuum of moral authority” thus leaving out reference to the comments about venerating the monarchy noted above and the need to review the lese majeste law (something PPT should have added above as well).

Update 2: The TRCT report, in a 276-page PDF, is available for download, in Thai.





TRCT and men in black

17 09 2012

The Bangkok Post’s report on the official release of the Truth for Reconciliation Commission report suggests that it will be interesting reading. The Post says that the report “has shed light on the mystery of the ‘men in black’, saying they were linked with red-shirt security guards and Maj Gen Khattiya Sawasdipol.”

In its report on the 2010 Battle for Bangkok, Somchai Homlaor, who headed the investigating sub-committee, said the commission had “found connections between the ‘men in black’ and security guards of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship in at least two clashes with authorities at Kok Wua intersection near the Democracy Monument and the Pratunam area on April 10, 2010.” He adds that “many” of the men in black “were found to be close to Maj Gen Khattiya…”. He added that the commission did “not have evidence to conclude whether they had a connection with UDD key figures…”.

The statements Somchai makes are not new. However, we would assume, from the claims made by him, that his committee interviewed so-called black shirts and red shirt guards in order to determine its conclusions. It cannot be, as another journalist reported, that the “report links at least one of the “men in black” to Army Maj-General Khattiya … who would later end up being shot down by an unknown sharp shooter on May 13,” and that “somebody saw a group of men in black step out of a white van at 7pm on April 10 near the Democracy Monument only to be ‘surrounded’ and escorted by red-shirt guards toward the direction of the deadly confrontation.”

There must be more evidence than this, as this appears based on one man in black and a “somebody.”

We can hope that in making claims, the TRC has spoken with more than a couple of witnesses to alleged black shirt action for an Army report states that “CRES intelligence” had it that “there were about 500 armed terrorists among the red shirts, and they were equipped with war weapons including M79s, M16s, AK47s and Tavor-21s.” These are all Army weapons but widely available as people in the Army lose and sell them and suffers numerous “thefts.”

PPT looks forward to seeing the report and seeing the months of investigation showing the necessary evidence.