Thai deputy PM: Protesters died because they ran into bullets
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Thai deputy PM: Protesters died because they ran into bullets

By Saksith Saiyasombut

Here’s a quote by deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban from a few days ago:

เราไม่คิดเข่นฆ่าประชาชน ไม่เคยใช้กำลังเจ้าหน้าที่ตำรวจทหารเข้าสลายการชุมนุม แต่ที่ตายเพราะวิ่งเข้ามาใส่

We had no intentions to kill our people, we have never ordered the police and the army to use force during the dispersal of the [red shirt] protest but those [who got] killed ran into [the bullets]*.

“เทือก”ลั่นได้ 300 เสียงไม่ง้อ “เนวิน-เติ้ง” แนะจับตาศึกซักฟอกศอกกลับฝ่ายค้าน“, ASTV, March 5, 2011

I don’t where to start here…! First off, this remark was done during a lecture called “Democrat Ideology” (“อุดมการณ์ประชาธิปัตย์”) at a seminar named “The new generation, the Thai future” (“รุ่นใหม่ อนาคตไทย”). More can be read here in Thai.


Thai Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban. Pic: AP.

Suthep has always been a gaffe-tastic politician, who regularly puts his foot in mouth. But this is a new low even for him. Is he really suggesting that these 90 killed and thousands of injured people were just unlucky to ran into the bullets? Is he suggesting the Japanese cameraman and the Italian journalist were victims of their own fault because they ran into the crossfire? Are the nurses and medical workers killed because they just couldn’t wait to treat the wounded until the shooting is over? Were those six killed at Wat Pathum Wanaram accidentally shot because they ran for cover from the soldiers on the elevated Skytrain tracks shooting at them? How far can anyone be further from reality?

I could go on forever with this rant, but this shows that Suthep, the DSI and all other authorties are dishonest and not caring about the truth, since it means to take responsibility. All the talks about fear that a hasted investigation might cause unrest is just an excuse not to face the problems at hand and what they seem to realized the least is that the more this drags on, the more attempts to put a blanket over what happened, the wound will not heal and this will eventually lead to more unrest!

h/t to @KrisKoles and Bangkok Pundit

UPDATE: In case anyone thinks that Suthep was misquoted by one source there, you can read this very quote not only at ASTV, but also at Khao Sod, Thai RathSpring News and also on Suthichai Yoon’s site – they all report the same insane quote!

UPDATE 2: As Bangkok Pundit points out in his take on the story the same quote also appeared on state media channel MCOT and astonishingly also on the website of the RTAF’s Directorate of Intelligence. Also, the fact that not one single Thai news organization has not picked up on this story, neither Thai or English language, speaks volume…!

*Note: For the sake of transparency it should be noted that the brackets were added at a later time.

Saksith Saiyasombut is a Thai journalist and blogger still based in Hamburg, Germany. He can be followed on Twitter @Saksith.