A Bangkok monk says claims by the Thailand government that the army only fired blanks at red-shirted pro-democracy supporters at Din Daeng last Monday are not true and that those shot include a Buddhist monk.
The accusations by the head monk of a Bangkok city temple come despite repeated claims by Thailand Prime Minister Abhisit Veijajiva that the only fatalities from the government crack-down on pro-democracy supporters were the result of clashes between protesters and residents in the Nang Lerng market area on Monday (April 13th) night.
The monk, who chose the pseudonym “Sajja” (the word truth in Thai) for his safety and asked that his temple not be named, said he went to the Din Daeng area around 6.00am on April 13 after hearing reports of clashes earlier that morning between the Thai army and red shirt protesters.
“I was standing about 200 meters away and the soldiers started shooting at people who were on the street. They were not wearing red shirts and there was no protesting happening at the time.
“I saw people falling down when the army was shooting at them and others run away. One of those who fell down was a monk and there was also some children there. I don’t know which temple the monk was from. I saw the soldiers pick about 10 people up off the ground and load them into a large pale-blue, almost white coloured van and then they hosed the blood off the road,” he said.
Mr “Sajja” said that while he could not be sure the people loaded into the van were dead, there was no noise coming from any of them that he could hear.
“Later I went to the soldiers and asked them why they had shot those people and they didn’t answer me. They just loaded bullets into their guns and made signs for me to move away”.
Mr “Sajja” said the bullets he saw being loaded into guns at Din Deang looked like real bullets to him. He said he was not a military expert but the description he provided was that of metal-jacketed live ammunition as opposed to the very distinctive colour of training rounds or blanks.
“I’m not a soldier, but I know what blood looks like. I was very shocked to see them shoot these people and especially sad to see a brother monk shot,” the elderly monk said.
Who knows if true, but it is certainly plausible, considering the military's record. If true, I have no doubt the Thai MSM will try to cover it up. They have so far been stenographers for the military.