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Ear to the Ground

Dissident Thai General Shot During Interview

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Posted on May 13, 2010
Seh Daeng killed
nytimes.com

There are the red shirts, and there are also the black shirts—a group of Thai dissidents, led by rebel Gen. Khattiya Sawatdiphol until he was shot in the head Thursday, apparently by a sniper, as he was being interviewed by New York Times reporter Thomas Fuller in Bangkok. His injury was described as “severe.” —KA

The New York Times:

The general, Khattiya Sawatdiphol, 58, was struck in the head by a bullet during an interview with this reporter about 7 p.m. on the street in central Bangkok, near a park occupied by his hard-line followers. This reporter, who was facing the general and about two feet away, heard a loud bang not unlike a firecracker. The general fell to the ground, with his eyes wide open, and protesters took his apparently lifeless body to the hospital, screaming out his nickname.

“Seh Daeng has been shot! Seh Daeng has been shot!” protesters shouted amid growing panic.

[...] The general was abhorred by both the government for disloyalty and also by most of the protest leaders for what they suspected was his role in fomenting violence. Still, he had assumed control of security for the protesters, placing his own black-shirted paramilitary fighters at entrances to the makeshift barriers around their encampment, and he claimed the loyalty of a small but intense group of protesters.

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Ouroborus's avatar

By Ouroborus, May 14, 2010 at 2:33 am Link to this comment

It’s interesting how people not living here can have
such certain, if ill informed opinions, about what is
going on here in Thailand.
These red shirt protesters are as much a tool as those
opposed to them.
Thai politics are very complex and deep and very few
outsiders have a clue as to the reality of the
situation on the ground.
But then opinions are like…never mind.

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By rollzone, May 13, 2010 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

hello. my stomach was twisted in revulsion when i read this this morning. a government sniper assassinated the radical peaceful revolutionary leader. are they claiming he caused 3 deaths, after weeks of occupation of up to three hundred thousand protesters? this reporter must have been heavily sedated to file this report, after being two feet away, with cameras running, doing an interview; and murder: right before his eyes. shocking slant he managed to file.

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By diamond, May 13, 2010 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

What do you expect? This is a fascist government fronted by a baby faced, telegenic puppet, which seized power in a coup. They have no ethics and are trying to prevent social change, by any means including murder. What this government cannot seem to understand is that the majority of the Thai people have had enough and will not accept a government that was not elected and simply seized power by military force. The red shirts are right to take a stand and hopefully it will send a message to anyone who wants to seize power unlawfully that it won’t be easy and may not even be possible now that people are on to them. Sooner or later every population works out that there are simply more of us than them and they can’t kill everyone because then there won’t be anyone left to work in their mines and shine their shoes. Perhaps the red shirts should take as their slogan: no exploitation without representation.

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