Giles Ji Ungpakorn is a Thai socialist in exile in Britain after being charged with lese majeste (insulting the monarch). He is a member of Left Turn Thailand.
Ji Ungpakorn’s blog, Wdpress.blog.co.uk, covers the struggle for democracy in Thailand, and the brutal repression meted out by the military backed regime. On May 25, the blog listed the names of all the pro-democracy Red Shirt protesters being hunted down by the regime — 66 arrest warrants had been issued and 21 people were already in custody.
On May 27, Ji Ungpakorn reported: “Army snipers have been caught on camera pointing their guns into Wat Patumwanaram, a temple used as a ‘safe’ refuge [by Red Shirt protesters during the military crackdown].
“Six civilians were shot and killed in cold blood in this temple, two were paramedics. The Government continues to tell lies about this.
“Meanwhile Assistant Prof Sutachai Yimprasert from Chulalongkorn University History Department, is on hunger strike while in custody ... The junta continues to try to block and shut down this independent media outlet.”
In the May 26 article below, Ji Ungpakorn looks at situation in the aftermath of the bloody crackdown.
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Make no mistake. We have a full military junta in Thailand with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva acting as a “democratic” mask.
The repression and censorship is worse than even after the October 6, 1976 massacre. More people have been killed by the army than in any previous repression.
It is worse than during the Sarit dictatorship era in the 1960s.
The reason is that the regime is trying desperately to suppress the biggest mass movement for democracy in Thai history.
Hundreds of people are being rounded up. There is widespread censorship. The regime is increasingly looking like China, Burma or North Korea.
The Thai military junta, headed by Abhisit, is now responsible for at least 88 deaths since April 10. It has heavily censored all media and internet sites.
It is afraid of the truth and free debate. All this is to avoid elections and to cling to power.
Abhisit, the military and his conservative royalist cronies are dragging Thailand back to the dark ages and the middle-class NGOs and most academics are supporting this cause.
The National Human Rights Commission is helping prosecute the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD — or “Red Shirts”).
Today, the Thai junta blocked the independent internet newspaper Prachatai once again and banned all Red Shirt publications. Many people who are in jail are being threatened with the death sentence.
While hundreds of Red Shirts are in custody for demanding democracy, the fascist pro-regime Yellow Shirts, who shut down the international airports in late 2008, have had any proceedings against them for their crimes delayed ... yet again.
And what about the king?
Buddhist monks chanted for peace at the Victory Monument just before the army moved in to kill civilians at Rajprasong in Bangkok.
Compare that with the total silence of the king and the support for the junta shown by the queen and the crown prince. What a useless and parasitic life these aristocrats live!
The junta’s success in clinging to power by murdering the people is merely a success built on sand. They can kill hundreds and imprison thousands, but they will never win the hearts and minds on the people.
Thailand will never be the same again.