UDD President Tida Response on the “Shooting Birds in a Cage” VTR

At the UDD press conference on Wednesday May 22nd 2013, Assoc. Prof. Tida Thawonseth responded to Army Col. Winthai Suwaree’s comments on the VTR “Shooting birds in a cage” that was broadcasted on Asia Update TV Channel during the “Look Back and Glance Forward for Democracy” show.

The people’s response to the VTR has been positive, according to Assoc. Prof. Tida, but it was not popular among the high-ranking Army officers. The army deputy spokesperson, Col. Winthai Suwaree said that the details of the military operation on the VTR which was based on a column in an Army education magazine (Sena-Thi-Put April-Dec 2010 edition) called “Lesson Learned from Area Reclaim Operation: Rachaprasong area, May 14-19 2010”, written by Col. Boonrod Srisombut, was only his personal opinion on the situation and has nothing to do with Army’s point of view on the events that transpired in May 2010.

Col. Winthai believed that the article should not be used as a reference for army operations because it only illustrates partial truth due to the author’s lack of detailed information on the operation. Once the author had received sufficient information on the operation from related agencies, the article was rewritten and published in the Jan.-Mar. 2011 edition of Sena-Thi-Put. The article appeared under a new title: “Lessons learned from the counter-insurgency information operations: COIN missions in the city (Mar-May 2010)”.

Assoc. Prof. Tida has countered Col. Winthai’s response to the articles by pointing out that the author (Col. Boonrod) did not revise the article on the area reclaim operation but simply wrote a entirely new article on a different issue relating to counter-insurgency information operation (COIN) that took place during March-May 2010 in Bangkok. These articles represent a series of strategic analyses and conclusions on lessons learned from the COIN operations to be used for educational purposes in the annual curriculum of the Military Cadet Academy. This is an important and interesting issue for the military cadet curriculum, not a revised article on the area reclaim operation at Rachaprasong intersection.

“It is a completely different issue (regarding the two articles); the army deputy spokesperson should go back and reread both columns again,” Mrs. Tida said. “The contents of the VTR on the issue of “shooting birds in a cage” were supported by real facts and evidences that were gathered from the scene. Other additional information included in the VTR came from “The People Information Center April-May 2010”. The first article (Lessons Learned from Area Reclaim Operation: Rachaprasong Area, May 14-19 2010) by Col. Boonrod Srisombut (aka Chief Kuang) merely served as the storyline for the VTR.

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