Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Massacre in the South (More Crap Reporting from The Nation)

The Nation:

The massacre at a mosque in Narathiwat was aimed at creating mistrust in the government and worsening the conflict between Buddhists and Muslims, senior officials said yesterday.

A group of masked assailants stormed into Al Pukon mosque in Joh I Rong sub-district on Monday night and sprayed devotees with gunfire, killing ten people on the spot and injuring a dozen others. A victim also died on the way to the hospital.


Army Commander-in-Chief General Anupong Paochinda, who rushed to region immediately, denied all claims of soldiers being involved in the massacre.

"I condemn any group that has perpetrated this violence," he said, adding that insurgents were trying to pass the blame onto the authorities for this "barbaric act".

"They simply want to raise this issue to an international level by making it look like state authorities are violently suppressing villagers. They want to create a climate of fear," Anupong said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva voiced his concerns, saying his government would work hard to improve the situation.

"The pattern of the attacks has changed and we need to adjust our tactics," Abhisit told reporters.

The PM's deputy secretary Panitan Wattanayagorn said militants staged this attack to get back at the authorities because they were losing territory in the region.

The zone that state officials cannot access has dropped sharply from 400 villages to 200 villages, he said.

"As a result, the militants are using violence and brutality to keep people fearful and gain media attention," explained Panitan, who is also a security expert.

Internal Security Operation Command (Isoc) spokesman Colonel Prinya Chaidilok said the attack was aimed at creating conflicts between Buddhists and Muslims as well as discredit the government.

"They want to make the international community believe that there is a religious conflict between the government and the Muslims," he said. "The insurgents have tried to provoke religious conflict several times before, but it was impossible."

It really is disgusting how The Nation acts like a propaganda arm for the Democrat Party and the army.

How can you write a story of this magnitude without actually talking to people who were actually at the massacre?

Never any quotes from any Muslims or villagers in the South. Even for a human interest story, The Nation doesn't even have the decency to find out what happened to the families of those massacred.

Being a reporter and editor for The Nation must be the easiest job in the world. Just wait for the quotes from the government officials on TV and reprint them in the newspaper. Sources from other people are irrelevant.

To be fair, I just caught this column by Pravit at Prachatai. But Pravit is the journalistic exception to the rule.

The Bangkok Post has reporting here, here and here.

BP is more balanced, but still disturbing that neither of these news organizations think they have to do any independent investigating on their own and just wait for the government to tell them what to print.

In 5 years, thousands of Thais have been killed in this conflict and it doesn't really seem to matter much.

But make sure you dedicate front page after front page for years to Thaksin's every breath and movement.


Anonymous said...

today in related TV news report I heard some witness saying that he doesn't believe it was insurgents, but from what he saw those people were more like military.

Steve said...

Sad to say, nothing new about this. When the Rohingya story was being broken by Phuket Wan and South China Morning Post - and then followed up with on the spot reporting by international print/broadcast media - did one journo from The Nation or Bangkok Post leave the comfort of their office to report let alone investigate this story?

Dudeist said...

One point I think we forget in all the nation and bangkok post bashing.

They are actually tiny, tiny papers. The only reason they have any credibility is that they are published in English. That's it. Nothing else.

And because they are so tiny they have no real budget to do the kind of investigative journalism that breaks stories.

The only kind of journalism they manage is the toadying, PR loving guff that smacks of privileged friends being given jobs rather than talent.

This relies on nepotistic contacts - the politicos, elite and journalists are all cut from the same cloth, are all pals and all share the same outlook.

In terms of being credible papers the nation and the bkk post are both a complete and utter irrelevance.