Black October 2008

From Khao Sod, October 8, 2008
Death and injury toll up 300 - Royal Army forces stationed to look into Bangkok - Army Commander in Chief guarantees no coup - Revelation of the moment police use tear gas - Shocking leg and arm injuries
Many police officers injured - Chaotic clash in the downtown area - Police uses tear gas to dissolve PAD mob encamping at Parliament to allow [government meeting]
Perfunctory policy declaration - Somchai climbs to escape - Merely 2 hour long meeting - Democrats boycott - Parliamentary confusion

From Thai Rath, October 9, 2008
Bangkok chaos - Mob clash - Clash continues from morning to night - both sides injured - PAD male and female members die - Tear gas causes many lost legs - Somchai climes fence to escape - Chawalit resigns
Bloodshed chaotic clash between riot police and PAD causes both sides injuries after the police use teargas to dissolve the rally

From Daily News, October 9, 2008
2 die in mob dissolution - ABAC University undergraduate dies - Army Commander-in-Chief confirms no coup
Chawalit resigns to take responsibility for the incident
Policy declaration - Escape from the enclosure - PM, House Speaker, Senators, ministers escape the PAD enclosure

From The Nation, October 8, 2008 - Bloodbath in Bangkok

From Krungthepturakit, October 8, 2008
Social denouncement of government - Democrats boycott policy declaration - City chaos causes stock nosedive
Clash between police and PAD leads to 2 deaths and more than 400 injuries.
Chaos downtown
Private sector warns that the metropolitan crisis worsens the economic crisis - Damages investors’ confidence

Don't use violent measures to solve problem - translated and summarized from Daily News; Column: Editorial; Author: n/a; page 2; October 8, 2008
What happened on October 7, 2008 must be written down as a historical incident of Thailand's politics. Police officials violently attacked members of the People Alliance for Democracy (PAD) to dissolve its gathering, aiming to oppose the government's move to announce policy at the Parliament. The move has led to an injury of over 100 people. Some are seriously injured. The public becomes to wonder if officials applied other weapons except tear gas.
As a result of the incident, Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Chawalit Yongchaiyuth submitted a resignation letter to take responsibility for it as he was one of those setting policy. It is interesting who will be in charge of Gen. Chawalit’s duties, which include easing southern unrest, solving borderline conflict between Thailand and Cambodia and create peace – national agendas.
What is a concern is the decision to use violent measures to solve problems. Several parties disagree with such move. This columnist demands that the government and the People Alliance for Democracy use peaceful measures to end the conflict and show responsibility for what happened.

Somchai loses his legitimacy – gets in the Parliament by stepping over blood - translated and summarized from Kom Chad Luek; Column: Scoop; Author: n/a; page 11; October 8, 2008
No one knows when the conflict between the government and the People Alliance for Democracy (PAD) will end. However, it is quite clear that the politics has come to a dead-end.
The Somchai Wongsawat administration has just finished announcing policy to the Parliament. However, it no longer has legitimacy to manage the country.
There must be someone who takes responsibility for the decision to dissolve the gathering in front of the Parliament with violence, which hurt over 100 people, including two police officers.
The police, the media, analysts and Mr. Somchai Wongsawat should have known once Maj. Gen. Chamlong Srimuang surrendered himself to the police what would happen.
Someone must be responsible for the decision to insist to announce policy in the Parliament, too.
From now on, the peacefulness or peaceful measures written in Somchai Administration’s policy will not become true.
The question is what are Somchai’s solutions?
The PAD demands that the Somchai government dissolves the Parliament and will not act as a caretaker government. The deadline of the request is 6:00 pm of October 7.
However, from this point, it is not likely possible that Somchai will decide the dissolve the government for a new election. He decided to assign the police to dissolve the mob because he thought that the PAD prepared to set fire to a car. The decision cannot be called a planned decision to control the crowd. His decision shows that he will not dissolve the parliament, nor quit the position.
After the mob had been dissolved, Somchai met with military commanders to confirm that he would not resign, nor dissolve the parliament. However, the attack is not likely to end, as the demand by the PAD still exists. The situation is likely to become intense as the mob tends to use violence to fight back. The country is about to become chaotic.
Moreover, Somchai, who should take responsibility for the problem, announced that he would stay. The decision also increases the anger of the PAD and put the country at a big risk of loss.

Answering the question why Chamlong is arrested when every party wants to ease the situation - translated and summarized from Matichon; Column: n/a; Author: n/a; page 11; October 7, 2008
It was unexpected that Maj. Gen. Chamlong Srimuang, a leader of the People Alliance for Democracy, surrendered himself by going out of the Government House to visit a polling station for elections for Bangkok Governor. He was then arrested on treason.
This is just a big surprise as the situation is cooling down. Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Chawalit Yongchaiyuth had assigned his subordinates to negotiate with Maj. Gen. Chamlong and the PAD members in the House.
In addition, the Somchai Wongsawat’s move to amend the Constitution received support from all partners. People are wondering how come the violent situation happens. Is it a plan set up by someone?
The first assumption is that it was a set-up of Maj. Gen. Chamlong himself, who wants to end the game soonest by surrendering himself like he did during Black May. There are many reasons to support his decision. He decided to visit the polling booth despite knowing that the police had an arrest warrant. He also wrote a letter like he knew how the situation would go.
There are many players in this game. Maj. Gen. Chamlong has a real close relationship with Gen. Chawalit. They once fought together during Black May. Lt. Gen. Pirat and Gen. Pallop Pinmanee are also friends of the major general.
The question is why Maj. Gen. Chamlong decided to apply the surrender strategy. The current game is getting very complicated. However, we could not overlook Gen. Chawalit, who is nicknamed ‘Zhuge Liang’, and Maj. Gen. Chamlong, who is nicknamed ‘Phu Pha Tee’.
Free now on, we must keep a close watch on an aggressive movement by the PAD and the role of Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Chawalit. Chamlong’s decision to surrender himself to the police must have been supported by big authorities.


(Photo: OKNation)

Prachatai: Policeman being run over by a truck

OKNation: Shooter

A tale of two newspapers

No explosive residue: Pornthip - The Nation, October 11, 2008
An inspection of the scene of bloody clashes between police and the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) has found no explosive residue, renowned forensic expert Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand said yesterday.
"There's also no trace of any such substance on the clothes or bodies of the injured victims," she told a press conference...

Residues from explosives found: CIFS - Bangkok Post, October 12, 2008
Some residues from explosive-like materials were detected following the inspection on more than 300 items of evidence gathered from the clashes between the police and supporters of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), Justice Ministry's Central Institute of Forensic Science director Porntip Rojanasunan said on Sunday.
She said the result will be examined again, and she planned to gather more evidence at the sites where confrontations happened on Sunday afternoon...

Earlier: 'A tale of two newspapers' archives

THAILAND: Another bout of military rule? - Inter Press Service, October 8, 2008
The battle for Bangkok has entered a new and violent phase, the logical end of which can only be another bout of military rule...

Shippers quit Bangkok port over strike fears - Cargonews Asia, October 9, 2008
Shippers are clearing their cargo from Bangkok Port and re-routing shipments via Laem Chabang Port on fears that unionised workers will strike again...

Thailand: Right-wing mob riots outside parliament - Green Left Weekly, October 6, 2008
Late on the evening of October 6, the ultra right-wing fascist mob that calls itself the Peoples Alliance for Democracy (PAD) laid siege to the Thai parliament...


Mid-morning - Military riot police at the southeast corner of Chitlada Palace


The areas around Parliament and the Royal Plaza are already clean and devoid of protesters.


Roads in the area are not blocked, but dozens of police paddy wagons are stranded around every intersection as all their tires were slashed by protesters.



The car bomb vehicle moments before it was towed away by police.

Soldiers deployed to help control situation - Bangkok Post, October 7, 2008
Soldiers from the army, navy and air force have been deployed on Tuesday night to help control political situation following request from police, according to army spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd.
Col Sansern insisted that the soldiers will not be armed, and their responsibility is to keep the country in order.
He reiterated that violence will not occur, and that soldiers would not stage a coup.

Protesters' injury toll rises to 381 - The Nation, October 7, 2008

PM: Emergency decree not yet necessary - Bangkok Post, October 7, 2008
Prime Minister and Defence Minister Somchai Wongsawat vowed to continue to work as the premier and he will not dissolve the parliament despite political riots that took place several times in Bangkok on Tuesday.
"While I am taking this post, I will not stop my work," he told reporters after he was asked whether to step down or dissolve the parliament. "Any decisions would be made at the appropriate times."
Mr Somchai said he has not received the resignation letter of former deputy prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh...

Above: The Nation's entry page

"Black October 2008"

Photos from The Nation

Photos from Manager

More links to local news photos of the event including photos that allegedly show police throwing some sort of small incendiary device

Below: ASTV1 frame grab - At the bottom left it reads: New politics by the people

From Not the Nation: Nation Editor Finally Gets To Use “Black October” Banner
...Currently, Ekkachai and his colleagues are working on some slide shows featuring the severed leg, as well as some Flash animation of his new “Thailand Holocaust” series, expected to debut on the Nation’s website as soon as a small child dies, which Ekkachai hopes will be this week.

Fatal car bomb in central Bangkok - BBC, October 7, 2008
A suspected car bomb has killed one person in Bangkok, as tensions rise in the long-standing political crisis...

Urgent: Police fire tear gases at protesters in front of Parliament - The Nation, October 7, 2008
Police fire dozens of tear gases at protesters, who staged a blockade outside Parliament at 6:20 am.
The firing of tear gases managed to open an access to Parliament at the gate on Phichai Road.
Leading members of the People's Alliance for Democracy urged the protesters to remain protesting there.

PAD siege broken - Bangkok Post, October 7, 2008
Riot police launched a surprise tear-gas raid Tuesday morning to break up a siege and tear down barricades at parliament erected up overnight by supporters of the People's Alliance for Democracy.
The PAD protesters retreated as unarmed police with shields and face masks moved through the barbed-wire barricades and tore them down.
Several people were injured but it was not clear how their wounds occurred. One man appeared to have been hit by a tear-gas grenade as it exploded, tearing off part of his leg...

[This sounds of the canister firings could clearly be heard all around town at around 6:22am.]

Earlier: High tension in Thailand

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