Monday, April 13, 2009

Shots Fired in Bangkok


An army spokesman, Col Sunsern Kaewkumnerd, said about 400 soldiers had moved against some 300 protesters at the Din Daeng intersection.

Some protesters had responded by driving a car at the soldiers, he told AFP.

Col Kaewkamnerd was also quoted by Reuters as saying troops fired into the air first in response to tear gas and smoke bombs thrown at them by protesters, but "then fired real bullets".

"We will start with soft measures and proceed to harder ones," the army spokesman told AFP.

"We will avoid loss of life as instructed by the government."

Associated Press:

BANGKOK (AP) -- Thai soldiers unleashed hundreds of rounds of automatic weapons fire to clear rock-throwing anti-government protesters from a major intersection in the capital in the pre-dawn darkness Monday.

Forty-nine people were reported hurt in the first serious clash between the two sides in ongoing protests that have roiled this southeast Asian nation and came a day after the country's ousted prime minister called for a revolution.

While the government has declared a state of emergency, protesters controlled many streets in the capital Bangkok. They had earlier commandeered public buses and swarmed triumphantly over military vehicles in defiance.

In the starkest example of the chaos, a mob of the red-shirted protesters smashed cars carrying Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his aides.

The clash began between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. Monday, as troops in full combat gear lined up and advanced to disperse the protesters, according to witnesses and television footage.

The soldiers fired hundreds of rounds from their M-16 automatic rifles as they advanced, though it was unclear whether they were firing at or over the protesters. Some witnesses said tear gas was also fired.

The official Erawan emergency coordination center said 49 people were injured on both sides and taken to hospitals.

The army seems to be blasting away.

You won't be reading any blood bath headlines in The Nation. Nor will you see the Queen going to any funerals.

The Reds are claiming a cover up. I have read at a couple websites that the mainstream media has been told to black out any contrary evidence to what the government is spouting.

The Reds have claimed that people have died. The military channels, Thai PBS, ASTV, and The Nation are covering up the truth.

I don't know what is going on because the servers are so damn slow and it takes forever to download a page.

If you have links, send them in.


davidb98 said...

Nattawut a leader of the redshirts currently at the GH rally site called the TV stations asking if he could be interviewed for the news but they all refused

the reds say that 2 people were killed at Din Daeng and 30 injured, the bodies have been removed by the soldiers

Anonymous said...

I think Reds should have better PR and connection to MSM. also they must have their own photographers at very least, or better - video-cameras.

at this moment Nattawut and Jatuporn have to collect evidences and witnesses and give info to foreign media about killed people. MSM are MSM everywhere - they mostly prefer to stick to "official" version, only one side of story. however Thai MSM right now are obviously VERY biased and censored. therefore it is crutial that Reds establish proper communication with foreign media and give them HARD FACTS !

otherwise Abhisit's government will continue to cover up the deaths and blame protesters as actual gultiy side rather than victims.
IT IS NOT ENOUGH to express anger at stage to their own crowd ! Jakrobob should know better than that.

certainly UDD lacks HUGE well orginsed telecommunication / propaganda machine of PAD during their 5 months of protests. and they may in fact lose because of that. it is an age of Information Technology after all ! media reports are modern warfare often more powerful than guns and bullets !

Fonzi said...


I know the Reds are claiming a cover up of the deaths.

I am scouring the websites. It is a big task. Also, the servers are slow as hell. It is very frustrating.

The video evidence is scant. So far only a couple videos up so far.

I have no doubt the Thai MSM media will cover up the deaths.

If you have links, send them to me at

hobby said...

We need to keep an open mind and be aware of the spin from both sides.

Fonzi said...


If you have noticed, only one side is being reported, the government side.

It is rare to read or hear something from anybody other that the MSM media's interpretations or from a government spokesperson.

A lot of filtering is going on.

The Nation is in full spin mode.

Just contrast their coverage now with October 7.

hobby said...

Fonzi: I'm trying to filter the spin.

We just need to be aware its happening on both sides (remember Jakrapob used to be in the government and is a skilled operator).

Personally I think there is enough video evidence to show that both sides are at fault. (did you see the video ASTV just showed - no amount of red spin will be able to take away the violence they perpetrated)

It will just be like all the other clashes, there will be evidence to show both sides doing the wrong thing, and then people will just make up their own minds according to their particular prejudices.

I agree mainstram media should show both sides of the story, but unfortunately we all know that it is the current victor who writes history, and it only gets rewritten when they are no longer in power.

Roger said...

I am curious to know what Giles Ungpakorn has to say... From waht we saw on teh BBC these Reds are not as peacefull as he described last month in his talk...

davidb98 said...

it will be interesting to see Giles reaction to the violence this weekend

the redshirts were peaceful and the leaders made sure that protesters were unarmed by having the police use metal detectors for all people entering the main site

however, the group is very large and diverse and, compared with the yellow shirts, has only a loose concensus, non-hierarchical leadership

right now the leaders are calling their supporters in Bangkok to retreat back into the main rally site surrounding Government House and at Sanam Luang and settle down for an expected siege by the army

a policeman was reported to be asking why the army needed to be called in, he thought police should have been armed and allowed to manage the situation

the army's reputation for management of internal protests is poor, both for loss of life but also that governments calling in the military normally dont last long after