The Eagle’s Message

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From Post Today, January 29, 2015
On the tank: Martial law

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Eight Years Ago: Thai Society Horrified Over Sexy Dress

Eight Years Ago: Thai Society Horrified Over Sexy Dress

The sexy dress – The story that will not die

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Thaksin and the Eagle

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From Manager, January 29, 2015
Thaksin: Pretend to play dead… From now on, it’s not silly work like you guys used to do… It’s global work… understand?
Caption: Put the animal in the right job
[After the junta government took power, the Red Shirts were believed to have been ordered by Thaksin to remain silent and not take action as threatened. Meanwhile, many Thais believed Thaksin has the clout to be able to influence the U.S. to pressure the junta.
In the picture, the toad refers to Red Shirt leader, Jatuporn while the red buffaloes represent the Red Shirts. To refer to a person as a “buffalo” is an insult meaning they are stupid.]

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It’s possible

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From a graphic circulated on social media: It’s possible that “Thaksin” ordered the U.S. to put pressure on Thailand. Dr. Panitan Wattanayagorn, an adviser to Deputy PM, 29 January 2015
[This is a doctored quote that adds the explicit mention of Thaksin. quote is not exactly what he said to the news. Dr. Panitan did not mention Thaksin directly. He only said that it was possible that some former Thai politicians were working with U.S. interest groups resulting in the U.S. action against Thailand including recent comments made by US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel about Thailand’s political situation.]

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Nine years ago: Thai police to be reformed, Traffic police could face charges of extortion

Nine years ago: Nine years ago: Thai police to be reformed, Traffic police could face charges of extortion

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12 Years Ago: Thaksin’s ‘War on Drugs’

Thailand’s ‘war on drugs’ – Human Rights Watch
…In February 2003, the Thai government, under then Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, launched a ‘war on drugs’, purportedly aimed at the suppression of drug trafficking and the prevention of drug use. In fact, a major outcome of this policy was arbitrary killings. In the first three months of the campaign there were some 2800 extrajudicial killings…

[It was 12 years ago this month that provincial police began to receive orders and lists from the central government concerning intransigent criminal elements to be liquidated. Professional “shooters” from the central police command were sometimes dispatched to areas that fell behind in their quotas.
This solution to the rampant drug problem was widely popular across the political spectrum. It is interesting to note that while those in the police will acknowledge and even enthusiastically explain the necessity of such action (as well as championing its use again), they also vehemently deny that any “innocents” or local political enemies were added to the lists for liquidation.]

2012: Thailand’s Drug War: This is not a war on Thais
2012: Court to hear order on War on Drugs killing
2012: Police officers sentenced to death in “War on Drugs” killings walk free on bail
2011: International community urged on impunity of “drug war” killers
2008: RIGHTS-THAILAND: War on Drugs Massacre – Officials Scot-Free
2008: ‘War on Drugs’ probe draws a blank
2007: Injustice for Thaksin? The drug-war dead must weep
2007: Thaksin’s war on drugs kin still wait for justice – Mass killing of tribesmen remains unsolved
2005: Thaksin war on drugs led to the yaba craze
2003: Amnesty denounces ‘murder spree’ in Thai war on drugs

Posted in Analysis, Drugs, The Thaksin Years | Leave a comment

Online Gestapo

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From Thairath, January 29, 2015
Title: Online Gestapo
On the black man: Cyber law
Phi Nooring: Explore people’s privacy
A mouse: Give a terrible scare to people
[Refers to the amendments of the Computer Crime Act. This latest move of the junta government raised concern that it will allow the government to have unprecedented surveillance powers with little judicial oversight.]

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Meddlesome Americans

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From Manager, February 5, 2015
In the black space at top: Long cartoon story for Monday, by Bancha/Kanin Continue reading

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Helping hand

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From Arun, February 3, 2015
Title: How come!!
On the sleeve: Thailand
Word being written: Democracy
[While the U.S. is trying to encourage Thailand to return to Western-style democracy, some Thais insists that they have their own forms of democracy.]

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What we really care about

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From Komchadluek, January 29, 2015
Left: Thailand loses 700 billion baht under rice-pledging scheme.
Right: Damn it, I can’t use Facebook for half an hour.
[The cartoon shows that people are more agitated by not being to use Facebook than the massive losses in the rice pledging scheme.]

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Three Years Ago: The Botched Iranian Bombing in Bangkok


(Source: Thairath, February 16, 2012)

Three Years Ago:

Explosions heard on Sukhumvit 71

Israeli analysis: ‘Thai blast likely part of larger terror attack’

Bangkok Blasts in the Foreign Press: The First Articles

Israeli Minister links Thai blasts to recent Iranian attacks on diplomats

Bangkok Blasts – First Government Explanations

Latest Bangkok Blasts News: Iran blames Israel for the bombings

Thai Headlines on the Bombings – February 16, 2012

Sticky bomb common to Delhi, Bangkok blasts

Iranian Suspects partied in Pattaya

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Valentine’s Day in Thailand – Time to Fret About Teen Sex


Above: Valentine’s Day marriages, Daily News, February 16, 2007

2005: Obscene Jockey Billboard

2005: Rap and hip hop to lure young people to Buddhism

2005: TV show slammed as sex lure to teens

2007: Thai cops on alert for underage kissing

2008: No sex on Valentine’s, Thai police warn teens

2008: Call for strict monitoring of ‘love nests’ for youngsters

2008: Lust in the library

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The U.S. and martial law

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From Manager, January 28, 2015
Top-left: The U.S. increasingly interfering in our country.
Top-right: Which laws do they use to judge whether we should end martial law?
Below-left: a man on the left: There is one I’ve seen them use in many countries.
A man on the right: Which one?
Below-right: “Intervention law.”
[Refers to some anti-U.S. sentiment in the wake of comments by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel over continued martial laws in Thailand and Yingluck’s impeachment.]

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U.S. Meddlers

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From Manager, January 28, 2015
Kristie Kenney: I spent many years in Thailand before they called me that, but you were only here for three days…
On sign behind Kenney: Meddler.
On sign held by U.S. envoy Daniel Russel: Meddler.
Caption: When Daniel returns to Washington DC and meets with Kristie.
[Former U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, Kenney frequently made comments on Thailand’s political situation and was criticized for intervening in Thailand’s political situation. Daniel Russel was attacked for this as well after only a brief visit to Thailand.
The prefix used before the word “meddler” in each case is a rude title for a man or a woman and that is why the writing on the signs is different.]

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The cobra and the eagle

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From Khaosod, January 31, 2015
On the egg: Martial law
[Refers to a Thai idiom, “the king cobra is protecting his egg.” It means to jealously protect something.
In the cartoon, the king cobra refers to the junta while an eagle is the U.S. which is pressuring the military to lift martial law.]

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Four years for Pryauth?

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Above: From a image circulated on social media (possible from an online newspaper):
Call for Gen. Prayuth to continue being PM for at least four years in order to develop the country to be modernized.
[Refers to the many reports from academics, analysts and even fortune tellers commenting that, as long as things are peaceful and people are happy, PM Prayuth should be allowed to stay in power for at least four years to fully complete the junta’s reforms.]

The late-January bombing needs to be viewed in the context of immediate events to understand what parties were likely responsible.

The junta was coming off an embarrassing week. Their claims that all was fine in Thailand, most were happy with their reforms, and that most people did not even realize martial law was in place were suddenly being challenged by someone who could not be called in for an “attitude adjustment.”

Front pages of newspapers further contradicted this by showing a U.S. envoy formally meeting with former PM Yingluck. Articles stated that the envoy planned additional meetings with Red Shirt groups (these were later cancelled under junta pressure).

Claims that Yingluck’s impeachment was simply a non-partisan matter of law and order were later openly contradicted by the U.S. envoy speaking at Chulalongkorn University.

The university is symbolic because its academics and doctors historically provide legitimacy to coup makers through their letters of protest to sitting governments judged to have gone too far in amassing power.

It certainly is possible that a pretext event might be staged at some point to justify continued military control. However, the timing of the bombings, coming as the junta was under pressure and trying to explain itself, means it is highly unlikely they would be staged by the military. This is because the bombing contradicted and embarrassed the junta–especially after nine months of peace.

That the bombing happened in the very heart of urban Bangkok calls into question the perception that the junta really even has control. It suggests that peace exists because Thaksin says so, and he maintains the ability to strike anywhere. In the context of the U.S. envoy’s remarks just days before, the bombing tends to discredit the junta and its claims.

There is every reason for Thaksin to ramp up trouble. Besides giving the junta a black eye and contradicting its claims, the bombing is a warning to the military to hand back power as planned.

In recent weeks in the Thai-language press, it appears that the public is being prepared for at least a four-year tenure for Gen. Prayuth.

Weekly statement by academics, political analysts, and even popular fortune tellers are all letting the public know that, as long as there is peace, and as long as these useful reforms are ongoing, it would be a shame to move too quickly back to elections.

Behind this is the growing realization that the junta has not yet succeeded in breaking up the Thaksin political power base. There are two establishment factions now. One feels a future government can be kept in check by the junta’s changes to the political system. The other (and this feeling is growing) contends the military must not hand back power just to see another Thaksin proxy party come to power to repeat the endless bids for amnesty.

As all of this is happening, the ball is in Thaksin’s court. He has to do something to demonstrate what could happen if an attempt is made to stall elections. If elections are stalled in favor of a long tenure by Gen. Prayuth, it does no good for Thaksin to continue to play nice on the promise that elections are coming soon.

The occasion of the U.S. envoy’s strong words provided the perfect opportunity for a bombing that absolutely contradicted all the junta’s claims about the state of the nation and demonstrated they do not have control.

Despite this neither side has reason to fully show their hand. Thaksin knows the junta is trying to break up his political network, so a new Pheu Thai party chief pegged to become PM will be kept under wraps until nearer an election date. Likewise, the junta will continue to float ideas about continued rule while adamantly promising that elections will be held as promised.

It is likely that another sign of “dissatisfaction” will occur once Yingluck is charged or flees the country. These would be further bomb blasts or possible arson attacks on public buildings in the Northeast. Like the late-January event in Bangkok, they would not be designed to deliberately hurt anyone, but to demonstrate that one party is aggrieved by the unfairness of the situation and still maintains the ability to strike at will.

2Bangkok Editor Ron Morris’ book, The Thai Book: A Field Guide to Thai Political Motivations, is available in the Kindle Store.

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Not slaves

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From an image circulated on social media:
At top right: Thais are not your slave. We can stand on our own feet.
Caption: This is our land and we are not the U.S.’s slave.
[The picture shows a reaction of some Thais toward the critical comments of Daniel Russel, the US Assistant Secretary of State, regarding the Thai political situation.]

Posted in 2014 Coup, Anti-Americanism | 1 Comment

After the Impeachment

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Above: From a graphic circulated on social media: “If you think you are innocent, you should fight against this charge in the criminal court. I can put you in jail today if I want, but I don’t do it. I let everything be done through democratic ways.” Prayuth Chan-ocha, 27 Jan 58 (2015)
[Refers to PM Prayuth’s comment on Yingluck’s claims of innocence regarding the impeachment. Yingluck’s meeting with a U.S. envoy (featured prominently on Thai newspaper front pages) was an unexpected challenge to the junta chief.]

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Above: From a graphic circulated on social media: Is the U.S. your dad? Damn it!!
[This is a photo edited to make it look like Yingluck is on her knees before the U.S. envoy. In the original photo, Yingluck sits on the sofa and confers with US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel after her impeachment. During the meeting the Thai political situation was discussed and the impeachment was characterized as unfair. However, in the edited one, Yingluck plays her respect to the US representatives and try to snitch the US about what has happened to her.]

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Above: From a graphic circulated on social media: Thai politicians’ dignity
Ask them [the U.S.] to help with a criminal charge?
Ask them [the U.S.] to be exiled in the US?
Former PM Yngluck plays her respects to Mr. Daniel Russel, the US Assistant Secretary of State.
[This is a photo edited to make it look like Yingluck is on her knees before the U.S. envoy. In the original photo, Yingluck sits on the sofa and confers with US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel after her impeachment. During the meeting the Thai political situation was discussed and the impeachment was characterized as unfair. However, in the edited one, Yingluck plays her respect to the US representatives and try to snitch the US about what has happened to her.]

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When will martial law be ended?

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From Komchadluek, January 28, 2015
Statue of Liberty: When will martial law be ended?
[Refers to the pressure from U.S. to lift martial law in the country in order to bring back the democracy to Thai people.]

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ISIS and the U.S.

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From Naewna, January 28, 2015
At top: Naewna’s cartoon [by] Poj
Left: ISIS threatens to kill a Japanese hostage unless a female bomber is released..!!
Right: The US threatens to end ties with Thailand unless Thailand releases the bad woman who betrays the country..!!
Caption: Two world terrorists are similarly dangerous.
[The cartoon compares U.S. pressure over Yingluck’s impeachment with ISIS hostage taking.]

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China shall not intervene in Thailand’s internal affairs

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From an image circulated on social media: 23 May 2557, Chinese President Xi Jinping calls for all Thai political groups to be patient and compromise with each in order to bring the country back to normalcy soon. Outsiders shall not intervene in Thailand’s internal affairs. He believes that Thais can deal with the situation and wish the country to get through this crisis soon.
Caption: The West shall not intervene.
[The words of China toward the political situation in Thailand are used to contrast with words from the U.S. critical of the coup and the impeachment of Yingluck.]

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Thai editorial cartoons with the U.S. Envoy

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From Arun, January 28, 2015
Title: Thai Fight (Thai people are already used to it.)
Under the man: Daniel Russel, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State

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From Arun, January 28, 2015
At the top: Daniel Russel, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Title: Sorry for this inconvenience
On the concrete: Martial law
A sign on the stairs: Be careful, cement not dried yet.

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Going after Chevron

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From a graphic circulated on social media: Boycotting U.S. products does not have any effect on the U.S. We should cancel their oil concessions!!!

[At the bottom are charts showing Chevron has reported that Thailand is the company’s second largest natural gas drilling site.
Nationalization of state assets was a big issue during Thaksin’s term as PM. He privatized state enterprises and allowed assets to be licensed and sold to foreign companies.
Many had hoped that the junta would halt unpopular oil and natural gas concessions given to foreign firms, but Gen. Pryauth has stressed continuity and allowed bidding to continue. Anger at U.S. comments about Yingluck’s impeachment again raised calls to halt concessions to foreign companies.]

Instead of blaming others, we shall start doing

From December 19, 2014
This billboard in the heart of Bangkok reads: Instead of “blaming” others, “we” shall start “doing.”
Chevron is proud to be a part of restoring the Pasak Watershed through the King’s philosophy and local wisdom.

[Chevron is not unaware of the mounting opposition from energy activists and nationalists to U.S. company oil and gas concessions. It has conducted public relations campaigns to improve its image with the public and emphasize it own “Thainess.”
The above billboard refers to a project launched by Chevron Thailand, together with the Institute of Sufficiency Economy and the Agri-Nature Foundation, with the aim of using the King’s philosophy about the management of soil, water and forests to restore the Pasak Watershed.]

Above: From Komchadluek, August 20, 2012
[The belief that foreign powers are only motivated by greed for resources or military bases is longstanding. This cartoon from 2012 contends that Thaksin was able to obtain a visa to the U.S. by promising oil concessions to the U.S. via his control of the Pheu Thai-led government.]


From Manager, January 25, 2013
Left, Hun Sen: Hmmmmm… [sound of exertion]
Right, Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul: Pood!! [sound of passing gas]
Caption: Hun Sen farts in Cambodia… but the sound is heard in Thailand.

[In this example from 2013, oil concessions are intertwined with the Preah Vihear conflict. The cartoon refers to the time when Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul asked opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva to show evidence proving his claim that former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and the Yingluck government benefited from secret oil and gas deals with Cambodia in exchange for Thailand acceding to Cambodian territorial claims at Preah Vihear.]

2Bangkok Editor Ron Morris’ book, The Thai Book: A Field Guide to Thai Political Motivations, is available in the Kindle Store.

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Are you ready? Are you ready, Thai people?

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From Manager, January 26, 2015
On the desktop: Are you ready? Are you ready, Thai people?
Caption: Warning: If you post something on IG [Instagram] while you’re taking drugs, the message you post will be very ridiculous to the people who see it.
[Refers to Thaksin’s son message after Yingluck was impeached. Thaksin’s son Panthongtae, frequently makes comment on the social media and has become an unofficial spokesman for his father.
His post-impeachment message, “Are you ready? Are you ready, Thai people?,” surprised many as it sounded like early Thaksin call to arms that has been issued during mass protests, particularly the 2009 siege of Bangkok.
The cartoonist uses perennial rumors of Thaksin’s son being a drug addict to contend he must have posted such a message while being under the influence.]

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How to stop criticism

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From Naewna, January 31, 2015
Title: To readjust the attitude may not enough…
Caption: Need to use muzzles too.
[After seizing power, the military frequently invited outspoken Thaksin supporters including Red Shirt leaders and anti-junta groups for “attitude readjustment.” However, in the wake of the U.S. envoy’s criticism of Yingluck’s impeachment, several began to speak up again. The cartoonist contends the only way to stop these people from speaking up for Thaksin is to muzzle them.]

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“America do not intervene in Thailand’s internal affairs”

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From image circulated on social media: Thailand belongs to Thai people.
We thank you, a foreigner, for your concern.
Yet, it would be greatly appreciated if you don’t intervene in our country.
[Refers to the wave of anti-American sentiment after the comments of US Assistant Secretary of States Daniel Russel concerning the political situation in Thailand.]

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From image circulated on social media: At right: Don’t intervene.
On the man’s body: Long Live the King.

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The next PM: Thaksin’s son

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Graphic circulated on social media: To the elite: this is the next PM!
(Red color: Next PM)
[Refers to Thakin’s son Panthongtae Shinawatra. He has become very active in politics, particularly supporting his father, Thaksin, as well as the Red Shirts. He frequently criticizes the anti-Thaksin groups and the junta government. His Facebook account is a unofficial voice for Thaksin,often confirming or denying rumors (most notably in 2013 when he confirmed that it was Thaksin on the leaked audiotape that implied Thaksin has reached and agreement with Prayuth to return to Thailand).
There is speculation that after using family members such as his sister and his brother-in-law as prime minister candidates, Panthongtaee could be a possible candidate to head the Pheu Thai Party in Thaksin’s stead.]

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Graphic circulated on social media: The 30 PM Oak Panthongtae Shinawatra, Biography: Drug addicted, didn't finish school, cheating on an exam, having a fake educational certificate
[The graphic mocks Thaksin’s son Panthongtae Shinawatra whose nickname is Oak. It repeats some of the rumors and criticism of him as one fo the offspring of the super-elite--that he allegedly has easy access to drugs and cheated on his educational qualifications.]

Posted in 2014 Coup | 1 Comment

The government listens to the people’s voice even in our room.

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From a graphic circulated on social media: The government listens to the people’s voice even in our room.
[This criticizes the government on banning websites and investigating people being involved with websites which may be “harmful” to the junta government. In the picture, the logo is from the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology and the overall image is similar to the blocking image Thai users see when trying to view blocked websites.]

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11 Years Ago: Construction of the Suvanabhumi Airport
วันนี้เมื่อง 11 ปีก่อน : การก่อสร้างสนามบินสุวรรณภูมิ


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

11 Years Ago: Construction of the Suvanabhumi Airport

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Making sure another Thaksin relative does not end up as head of Pheu Thai

NACC To Prosecute Former PM For Yellowshirt Crackdown – KhaoSod, February 8, 2015
[This is aimed at denying Thaksin another more family member to be head of the Pheu Thai Party.]
…The crackdown involved police officers firing tear gas at the protesters and beating them with batons. Two demonstrators were killed in an “explosion” later in the day. Police insist that they did not cause the explosion, and Redshirt activists say the victims were carrying explosives at the time of their deaths…

Posted in 2Bangkok News | 2 Comments