Democrat party hits back at Progressive Movement’s laser messages
Thailand’s Democrat party has accused the Progressive Movement of distorting facts about the crackdown on red-shirt protesters in Bangkok by the government of then Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva a decade ago, in order to discredit him and to turn the public against him.
Party spokesman, Mr. Ramet Rattanachaweng, said that Mr. Abhisit, and Mr. Suthep Thaugsuban, then deputy prime minister, had been cleared by both the Supreme Court and the National Anti-Corruption Commission and that the crackdown was legitimate and within the scope of their duty to restore peace and order.
Mr. Ramet’s statement today was in response to messages, about the bloody crackdown, projected by laser onto several buildings, including the Defence Ministry, on the 10th anniversary of the event on the night of May 10th. The violent incident left about 100 people, including protesters, officials and innocent by-standers dead and injured over 2,000. More than 30 buildings, including the Central World shopping mall, were set on fire when troops used lethal force to disperse the demonstrators.
Ms. Pannika Wanich, a core member of the Progressive Movement, which was formed by former leaders of the now defunct Future Forward party, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, reportedly admitted that she was responsible for the laser projections, adding that they were just a “trailer”.
Mr. Ramet also said that an independent truth commission has ruled that the protest, organized by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), or the red-shirt movement, was unconstitutional and that there were gunmen among the protesters shooting at government forces.
As far as the justice system is concerned, he said Abhisit was charged with murder for ordering troops to disperse the protesters, but he was acquitted by all three courts.
He said that, during the protest, both Mr. Abhisit and Mr. Suthep had tried to negotiate a peaceful solution, but the talks collapsed because the “boss” of the red-shirt leaders didn’t want to end it.
Abhisit and Suthep have never sought amnesty, but fought all the cases through the courts of law, said Mr. Ramet, as he urged the Progressive Movement to stop their divisive rhetoric.