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  1. #1
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    Red lawyers seek to push back payouts: Victims say govt used them to win power

    Red lawyers seek to push back payouts | Bangkok Post: news

    Red lawyers seek to push back payouts

    Victims, families say govt used them to win power

    Red shirt victims of the 2010 political violence are decrying a move by their own lawyers to postpone their compensation settlements by six months.

    The lawyers were hired by the 111 Thai Rak Thai Foundation to represent the victims and their families.

    The Civil Court set March 30 to settle the damage and reparation lawsuits filed against the Abhisit Vejjajiva administration and Finance Ministry by injured United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship supporters and relatives of the dead.

    However, their lawyers have asked for the case to be put back to September.

    Tanyakamol Kamnoi, who lost her younger brother Kriangkrai Kamnoi in the April 10, 2010, clash between protesters and security officers at Kok Wua intersection in Bangkok, said: "It's already been two years without progress on either establishing the facts of my brother's death or the compensation.

    "Sometimes I feel hurt, thinking that the government just stepped over their corpses to obtain power."

    When the Pheu Thai Party was the opposition, it used her brother's death in its calls for the Democrat-led government to take responsibility, the Roi Et woman said.

    Santipong Inchan, who lost his right eye when he was shot with a rubber bullet in the same Kok Wua incident, added the court had actually suggested that negotiation on the compensation could begin right away, but the lawyers have sought a delay.

    "The current government's reparation scheme is under way but without any explicit timeframe or form of payment. We seem to be left shattered, having to wait directionless under the administration we helped to install," said Mr Santipong.

    The government told victims of political violence and their relatives seeking compensation to register their names by last Thursday.

    If approved, each victim will a receive a compensation payout of between 4 million and 7.5 million baht.

    Mr Santipong added the red shirt rank and file were stunned by the 111 Thai Rak Thai Foundation's move. The victims did not know if the lawyers would later ask for the civil lawsuits to be dropped, or if they would still proceed.

    "Implicitly, we are told that we will have to pursue any further court cases on our own" Mr Santipong said.

    "The core leaders will not do it on our behalf."

    The foundation has filed lawsuits for damages totalling 130 million baht against the Finance Ministry, Defence Ministry, the army, former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and former deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban.

    The mother of medical volunteer Kamonkade Akkahad, who was shot dead in Wat Pathum Wanaram on May 19, filed a separate complaint seeking compensation of 8.3 million baht.

    Pansak Srithep, father of Samphan who was killed on May 15 near Ratchaprarop Road, and Waranit Asawasirimankong, widow of Thanuthat who was left disabled after a clash in the Bon Kai area on May 14 and who died two months ago due to complications from his injuries, also filed lawsuits seeking 7 million and 2 million baht respectively.

    Last Tuesday, relatives of 20 red shirt protesters who were killed at Kok Wua intersection held a separate commemoration at Democracy Monument.

    Many of them said they were appalled that the government did a no-show at the ceremony.

    Suvimol Foongklinchan, mother of Terdsak, who died in the Kok Wua clash, said during the Abhisit government the then-opposition Pheu Thai was eager to remind her who the responsible party was for the death of her son.

    "Now that Pheu Thai is the government, it speaks very little about this, while the Democrats and relatives of the soldiers have come forward to talk about the deaths. It is a very weird situation," she said.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

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    Justice fund is 'a tool of political office' | Bangkok Post: news

    On the RECORD

    Justice fund is 'a tool of political office'

    The request for the use of 43 million baht from the so-called "Justice Fund" to bail out red shirt suspects has stoked controversy. Pitaya Jinawat, director-general of the Rights and Liberties Protection Department, explains to KING-OUA LAOHONG how various governments have exploited the fund and how money alone will not bring reconciliation.

    The government approved the fund to help bail out the red shirts but the court vetoed the use of the money for this purpose. What is going on?

    The fund was set up when Suwat Liptapanlop was justice minister and it was aimed at assisting people who found that legal help was beyond their reach. They included scapegoats and those taken to court with no lawyers to represent them.

    Last year, we received 36 million baht. But our "customers" are many and a lot of people are in trouble.

    We thought if we were to disburse the available money to help bail out those red shirts facing criminal offences, there might not be enough left to assist other people. So I approached the justice minister, who asked the government for additional funds and the money was granted.

    It isn't wrong to say the fund is a tool of political office. The fund was used by the previous government too. In the government under the Democrat Party, then justice minister Pirapan Salirathavibhaga diverted money to help a farmer who was cheated. The yellow shirts can also ask to use the money although they are generally better off than the red shirts so they haven't sought financial assistance. The majority of the red shirts are poor and when they faced arrest, they had no money to bail themselves out. They [the current government and the red shirts] have a shared ideology. The government forked out extra money for the red shirt cause so people waiting in line wouldn't be affected.

    The problem is the justice fund earlier disbursed 100,000 baht each to the families of people who died in the political violence of recent years. Now, they are getting 7.5 million baht each in state compensation. Will that be a financial incentive drawing people to political rallies in the future?

    Yes. I'm tempted to die too. The 7.5 million baht granted would be left to my children. Even my pension won't be anything near that amount.

    But in truth, money won't solve disunity. The red shirts feel they have been victimised through the legal process. Their bitterness is bottled up inside.

    Paying for reconciliation involves being perceptive to the prevailing mood and atmosphere, which may not be conducive to forging unity.

    It's hard to reconcile when red shirt villages are still being established in many provinces. Rushing to reconcile without listening to different opinions is dangerous. I can tell you a remedy through money alone will not bring about reconciliation.

    The government cannot control the red shirts. What if the government talks and they don't listen? But on a person to person level, the red and yellow shirts can talk, as shown by the case study in Phayao. We need to create understanding and come to the table with the right attitude.

    Is it true you are a red shirt because you're a Chiang Mai native and you are devoted to the red shirts because you were made director-general under the current government?

    I'm a Chiang Mai native but I don't know former premier Thaksin Shinawatra or his younger sister Yaowapa Wongsawat personally. I've never approached or met them. I know Somchai Wongsawat
    [Ms Yaowapa's husband] because he was my superior when he was justice permanent secretary.

    I was named deputy justice permanent secretary under the previous Democrat-led government and I became department chief under the present government. That doesn't make me a red shirt. Our department helps all colour-coded people.

    Our strength lies in our ability to provide money while our weakness is that we answer to the policies of political parties in power. We are reaching out to organisations and stakeholder groups of the rights protection networks and we seek their cooperation in monitoring our work for transparency.

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    Walking on bodies to power « Political Prisoners in Thailand

    Walking on bodies to power

    April 19, 2012

    At the Bangkok Post a few days ago there was a story worth mentioning as it refers to red shirts involved in a dispute with the ruling party and authorities, as well as their own lawyers from the 111 Thai Rak Thai Foundation.

    It is reported that foundation has filed suits for damages of 130 million baht “against the Finance Ministry, Defence Ministry, the army, former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and former deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban.”

    Apparently, the Civil Court had

    set March 30 to settle the damage and reparation lawsuits filed against the Abhisit Vejjajiva administration and Finance Ministry by injured United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship supporters and relatives of the dead. However, their lawyers have asked for the case to be put back to September.

    A woman who lost her younger brother during the 10 April 2010 crackdown by government forces says:

    It’s already been two years without progress on either establishing the facts of my brother’s death or the compensation. Sometimes I feel hurt, thinking that the government just stepped over their corpses to obtain power.

    The ruling Puea Thai Party had, when in opposition, “used her brother’s death in its calls for the Democrat [Party]-led government to take responsibility…”.

    Another, who lost an eye, stated:

    The current government’s reparation scheme is under way but without any explicit timeframe or form of payment. We seem to be left shattered, having to wait directionless under the administration we helped to install….

    The “red shirt rank and file were stunned by the 111 Thai Rak Thai Foundation’s move. The victims did not know if the lawyers would later ask for the civil lawsuits to be dropped, or if they would still proceed.” Several others have launched their own cases.

    Some feel they are being abandoned by the party they supported and brought to power. As an example of abandonment, “relatives of 20 red shirt protesters who were killed at Kok Wua intersection held a separate commemoration at Democracy Monument,” and many were “appalled that the government did a no-show at the ceremony.”

    A mother whose son was killed observed that Puea Thai has gone quiet while it is the Democrat Party and “relatives of the soldiers have come forward to talk about the deaths. It is a very weird situation…”.

    “Weird” is probably a polite way of referring to this situation.

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    Odd how so many people failed to comment on this.....

    Good to see TPP covering it.

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    "Sometimes I feel hurt, thinking that the government just stepped over their corpses to obtain power."
    ----------------------------

    Never !

    The square faced [at][at][at][at] wouldn't do that to his "Phi Nong"

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    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    The problem is the justice fund earlier disbursed 100,000 baht each to the families of people who died in the political violence of recent years. Now, they are getting 7.5 million baht each in state compensation. Will that be a financial incentive drawing people to political rallies in the future?

    Yes. I'm tempted to die too. The 7.5 million baht granted would be left to my children. Even my pension won't be anything near that amount.
    I expect many of them feel the same way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    Odd how so many people failed to comment on this.....
    wasn't the web site on the banned list at some stage ?

    maybe worth reading these links :

    https://thaipoliticalprisoners.wordpress.com/about-ppt/

    http://2bangkok.com/thai-political-p...-thailand.html

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    Lonely voices still seeking justice | Bangkok Post: opinion

    Lonely voices still seeking justice

    Two people from opposite sides of the colour-coded political divide who each lost a loved one in the May 2010 political violence in Bangkok ironically share a common view in opposing the reconciliation plan now being pushed by Pheu Thai Party and fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

    Natthapat Akhad is odd man out among the supporters of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, because he does not believe that national reconciliation can be achieved without first ensuring justice for the victims of the May 2010 political violence.


    Red-shirt protesters standing on an elevated walkway on Feb 28 last year wave to their comrades who gather at Pathum Wanaram temple to join a religious ceremony for people killed in the May 2010 anti-government protests. (Photo by Pattanapong Hirunard)

    The young man lost his elder sister, Kamolkate, the volunteer nurse who was shot dead along with five other people, allegedly by army snipers, at Wat Pathum Wanaram on May 19, 2010. The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) concluded that the six victims might have been killed by members of the state security forces during the crackdown on red-shirt protesters, but did not specify which army unit was responsible. The Criminal Court has scheduled June 18 for the opening of an inquest into the case.

    In his address to his red-shirt supporters on April 15 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, ousted premier Thaksin said, without being specific, that some red-shirts might have to make sacrifices for the sake of reconciliation.

    Of course, Thaksin badly needs reconciliation -- not just for all the offenders in the political violence since 2005, who include red-shirt and yellow-shirt protesters, members of the security forces and civilians -- but also, most importantly, for himself so he can return home a free man and with a show of dignity.

    But Mr Natthapat sees it a different way, and he has a valid point in challenging Thaksin’s plea for sacrifice. The embittered young man strongly feels that his family has already made a huge sacrifice in the loss of his sister. He believes true reconciliation is possible only when justice is served and those responsible are held accountable.

    Mr Natthapat’s opinion is shared by Nicha Thuwattham, the widow of Col Romklao Thuwattham who was shot dead by a gunman hiding among the red-shirt protesters at Kok Wua intersection, Ratchadamnoen Avenue, on May 10, 2010.

    For almost two years, Mrs Nicha has been fighting almost singlehandedly for justice for her husband, hoping that the culprits will be brought to trial. She came a little closer to success when the DSI concluded that Colonel Romklao was killed by a shooter in the red-shirts crowd and some suspects were arrested.

    But with the Yingluck Shinawatra government riding the reconciliation bandwagon, things began to change. Mrs Nicha was informed by the Justice Ministry in a terse two-line letter that the DSI was unable to identify those actually responsible for her husband’s death. Also, all the suspects were granted bail.

    Both Mr Natthapat and Mrs Nicha are bitter with the way the cases involving their loved ones are being treated by the government. They have voiced their grievances but their faint voices are drowned out by the reconciliation tune which is now being played out in full chorus. Theirs are not the voices that Thaksin and his faithful supporters want to hear.

    Sacrifice? It seems that is what ordinary people are supposed to do, but the big shots clearly don’t have to, and don’t intend to. That is the reality of the world of politics, where vested interests count and small people are merely expendable pawns.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    Lonely voices still seeking justice
    Veera Prateepchaikul vs Andrew Spooner

    Is another oped about Thaksin imminent?


    Andrew Spooner

    Over the last couple of weeks there has been a deluge of opeds in the English language Thai media and blogosphere on Thaksin Shinawatra. The Bangkok Post, the Nation and even Asian Correspondent’s very own Bangkok Pundit have repeatedly poured over every varied aspect of Thaksin's possible return in what only could be described, in a nod to film theory, as the “New Wave of Thaksin Fever”.

    But, more importantly, is another oped about Thaksin imminent?

    Here at AP (Asia Provocateur) we think it is. In fact it is a cast iron certainty.

    Of course opeds regarding Abhisit lying to the Thai parliament about which nationality he used to enroll at Oxford University are not imminent. AP can also guarantee that there will be no opeds about the continued failure to hold the Abhisit government to account for the brutal massacre they unleashed on the Thai people in 2010. You will find no mention of this in the Thai English language media anywhere. The deaths of 90+ Thai civilians protesters is, quite frankly, an irrelevance.

    Nor will there be any opeds about the recent release of an autopsy report which proved, beyond any reasonable doubt, that a hand-thrown fragmentation grenade that could have only been thrown by people close to them was used to kill the soldiers who stood next to Colonel Romklao on April 10th 2010 and not an M79 fired by the Red Shirts as is the lie put out by the previous “graceful” Abhisit government and their friends in the English-language Thai media/blogosphere/NGOs.

    Of course there will be no mention or oped at all, anywhere, in English, about Romklao’s own body being immediately cremated after he was killed, before any autopsy could be carried out. That Romklao's death was then used as a pretext to slaughter 90+ civilians is just a moot point.

    We can also forget any opeds at all on the subject of Human Rights Watch's lead researcher in Thailand, Sunai Phasuk, secretly supporting the 2006 illegal coup or that much of Thailand's human rights community is riddled with extreme rightwing PAD-supporters and is deeply politicised as a result.

    The New Wave of Thaksin Fever provides a great distraction for the chattering classes but the obsession with him prevents any deeper analysis or more investigative journalism to emerge. It’s just a constant regurgitation of the same old theories, cut and pasted from the same old sources, inflected with the same old distortions.

    Will Thaksin return? Maybe. Does it need discussing? Sure. But there is much more discussion to be had than just that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    Odd how so many people failed to comment on this.....
    wasn't the web site on the banned list at some stage ?

    maybe worth reading these links :

    https://thaipoliticalprisoners.wordpress.com/about-ppt/

    Thai Political Prisoners Blog blocked in Thailand
    I thought it was, too.

    Obviously, "reconciliation" means different things to different people. I suppose the little people will just have to reconcile themselves to that fact. Personally I'd rather they didn't, but maybe that's just my cultural bias.
    “You can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think.” Dorothy Parker

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    there never will be reconciliation as long as you have a divisive element that is central in the conflict, no matter what we try to forget him

    Thaksin is the divisive element, and reconciliation in his logic is to "forgive him" for his mistakes

    he created the May 2010 conflict and the death that followed, why should he be forgiven for it ? fuck yeah, that is going to happen

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    You need to open both your eyes, Fluffer.

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    ^ I do, but do you ?

    the May 2010 was the product of Thaksin, they wanted the body count from the start as a trigger for a "people coup" as they called it then

    it didn't work, the military was not incorrect in their reactions, it would have happened like that in most countries, probably far worse in a country like the US. The military was far more restraint than many think. I also think the body count was much higher than advertised.

    The sad thing is that we will never know the real body count and who did the killing exactly. My bet is that it was 50/50 army and red revolutionary guards. I also think that the real body count is at least 200, not the ridiculous 90 as the official number. I saw those red guards shooting AT people in my street and burning 711, so it's not a myth, it happened.

    Anyway, the army are still cowards to hide those real numbers and blackmail Thaksin for revelation in exchange for "amnesty".

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    1,658 shortlisted as recipients of Bt7.5 million compensation - The Nation

    1,658 shortlisted as recipients of Bt7.5 million compensation

    April 20, 2012 6:19 pm

    There are 1,658 people shortlisted as recipients of Bt7.5 million for deaths and injuries they had sustained during political conflicts, Deputy Prime Minister Yongyuth Wichaidit quoted an independent commitee on national reconciliation's conclusion reached Friday as announcing.

    Selected from more than 5,000 applicants, the 1,658 people will receive a total of Bt12,435,000,000. Each of them will be paid Bt3 million in cash, and another Bt4.5 million in Government Savings Bank saving bonds.

    Recipients must never serve imprisonment or currently face prosecution, while those having received state assistance money will receiving only the remaining amounts, he said.

    The Nation

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    this is another case of Thaksin using state money to foot his bills,

    he should be compensating those people personally,

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    Dim lights

    by Giles Ji Ungpakorn Friday, 20 April 2012

    In an interview with Jom Petpradab in Cambodia on 17th April, Taksin Shinawat confirmed that “reconciliation” means that “those who killed 91 people do not have to go to jail”. You can see him saying this in the 7th minute of the video above.

    In Bangkok in April and May 2010, the Military, hand in hand with the Abhisit Government, deliberately deployed armed troops and snipers to kill unarmed Red Shirt protestors who were demanding a return to democracy. A handful of soldiers were also killed by a hand grenade in April, probably by a rival military faction.

    In July 2011, Taksin’s sister, Yingluk, and her Pua Thai Party, won a landslide election victory. Millions of Red Shirt supporters made this happen.

    <snipped>

    The Thai ruling class has used bloody violence against civilian protestors in 1973, 1976, 1992, 2004 and 2010. Every time they have given themselves amnesty. Taksin is hoping to return to Thailand by walking on the corpses of dead Red Shirts and spitting in the faces of the political prisoners. He is also aware that as Prime Minister in 2004, he is responsible for the deaths of nearly 90 un-armed protestors in the South.

    By tying themselves too closely with the Pua Thai Government, the national Red Shirt movement (UDD) has ceased to be an independent social movement for democracy and its main role today is to de-mobilise the Red Shirts while the elites come to a compromise in order to protect their status quo.

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    Cut out the controversial part.

    No link supplied for the same reasons.

    Once again Giles and I agree. What do you say about this Calgary? And others who blindly swallow the garbage fed to them by the ruling party?

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    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    By tying themselves too closely with the Pua Thai Government, the national Red Shirt movement (UDD) has ceased to be an independent social movement for democracy and its main role today is to de-mobilise the Red Shirts while the elites come to a compromise in order to protect their status quo.
    quite shameful, isn't it ? what a joke of organization, not that we didn't expect it

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    Already posted in the correct thread, but a bit of a bombshell dropped by Tarit, head of the DSI today.........

    Col Romklao was killed by 'men in red', Tarit reveals | Bangkok Post: news

    Col Romklao was killed by 'men in red', Tarit reveals

    Red shirts killed Col Romklao Thuwatham during violent clashes in April 2010, Department of Special Investigation chief Tarit Pengdith revealed yesterday.

    Mr Tarit said United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship supporters had been responsible for the murder of Col Romklao.

    "The DSI has continued to investigate this case, and we insist this is what happened," said Mr Tarit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog View Post
    Already posted in the correct thread, but a bit of a bombshell dropped by Tarit, head of the DSI today.........
    Bombshell? We can assume then that you have not before ever read a word that Tarit has ever said? He changes his story daily to suit who is pulling his strings.

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    DroversDoug - ignoring the issues raised as usual I see.

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    ^ Yeah, shocker, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DroversDog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog View Post
    Already posted in the correct thread, but a bit of a bombshell dropped by Tarit, head of the DSI today.........
    Bombshell? We can assume then that you have not before ever read a word that Tarit has ever said? He changes his story daily to suit who is pulling his strings.
    Giles Ji Ungpakorn doesn't change his story daily. This hasn't been a single bombshell, it's an artillery assault, and sticking fingers in ears won't make the shells stop falling. It's Tannenberg and time for the Reds to shoot the officers and vote with their feet.

    This is why Orwell's "Fairy Story" needs to be taught in schools here (and everywhere).

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    http://www.bangkokpost.com/breakingn...ked-to-forgive

    Victims' relatives asked to forgive

    Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra tried unsuccessfuly to ask relatives of the red shirts who were killed by government forces in 2010 to forgive for the sake of reconciliation.

    Thaksin also lobbied former classmates of Class 10 of the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School to forget what happened to them after the Sept 19, 2006 coup, but also to no avail, a Class 10 member and one of Thaksin's friends said.

    The source said Thaksin made his plea to UDD core members, relatives of the red shirts who lost their lives in political protests and his Class 10 colleagues who went to see him during Songkran in Laos, Cambodia and Singapore.

    Thaksin wanted them to forget what happened and forgive all concerned, turn towards reconciliation and start anew.

    "We have to forgive and forget what happened in order to achieve reconciliation and a win-win situation," the source quoted Thaksin as saying.

    The source said that some of the relatives of those killed at the Ratchaprasong intersection on May 19, 2010 could not accept what Thaksin asked, particularly for them to forgive those responsible for the death of 92 people.

    The source said Thaksin could not use the death of the red shirts to bargain for his benefit only.

    "Even though I am a friend of Thaksin, I and many other friends who fought together are of the opinion Thaksin was not right to have told them to forgive those who ordered the killing of their relatives. There must be people held responsible and punished. They can't go unpunished after killing the people," the source said.

    The source said he had learned that the relatives of the dead were planning an activity to mark the second anniversary of the May 19 dispersal of the red shirts.

    They will declare a standpoint of wanting those responsible punished, but will not ask for more money or any other remedial actions, he said.

    The former Class 10 officer said remedial action for those in the military who were transferred after the coup to inactive posts for several years should also be taken.

    Some of them are now retired while others are still in inactive posts, he said.

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    fucking disgraceful, hopefully the victims won't fall for it, unless he starts offering them bride in pure Thaksin style

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