At the weekly press conference yesterday, Friday 21st September, the UDD reaffirmed its opposition to the Truth for Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report, and exposed several factors that demonstrate that the report is biased and unreliable. Spokesperson Warawut Wichaidit, prominent UDD member Somwang Asrasi, and Chairwoman Tida Thavornseth each took turns punching holes in the TRC report’s findings and its supposed claims of impartiality.
In summary, Chairwoman Tida said:
Although there are a few positive elements in the TRC report, they are overshadowed by its many instances of lies and misinformation.
Most significantly, Chairwoman Tida showed pictures in which soldiers are seen in the army controlled areas wearing red and black shirts and carrying weapons. Such images raise serious questions about the report’s unsubstantiated conclusion that the “Black Shirts” were an armed element of the Red Shirt movement.
Furthermore, a video-clip shows Red Shirt protesters fending off armed “men in black” from the Hua Chiew hospital where General Major Khattiya Sawasdipol, also known as Seh Daeng, was being kept in critical condition after being shot in the head by a sniper. The “men in black” had come to remove Seh Daeng from the hospital grounds. This clip significantly undermines the theory that Seh Daeng was the effective leader of the “Black Shirts”.
Consequently, the UDD leadership assert that there is no evidence to support the theory that the Red Shirts are responsible for the violence in 2009 and 2010. On the contrary, it was the Abhisit Vejjajiva-led government that militarized the situation by ordering 60,000 heavily armed combat-ready troops onto the streets of Bangkok.
Another major issue with the TRC concerns the political affiliations of several committee members. For example the two most senior figures on the commission, Kanit na Nakorn and Somchai Hamloar are noted public critics of Thaksin Shinawatra. In addition, those in junior roles, such as Metha Maskeow and Chaiwat Triwitta have been public supporters of the Yellow Shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD). Metha has appeared on stage at PAD rallies on multiple occasions, and Chaiwat is the chief of the PAD guard. Such appointments severely compromise the TRC’s claims of neutrality.
These are among the many reasons for which the UDD strongly opposes the TRC report. At the press conference, the UDD leadership reaffirmed that the report delivers neither truth nor justice, without which there can be no reconciliation.
Finally, Chairwoman Tida announced that the UDD will submit its critique of the report in English to foreign embassies and international organisations in the very near future.
For the video clip the armed “men in black” trying to remove Seh Daeng from the hospital, click here.
For the UDD press release on TRC report, click here.
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