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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs   3  January 2014  
Thai police chief: Armed men shooting from rooftop are police

BANGKOK, Jan 2 – Thailand’s police chief admitted today that the so-called “men in black” seen on a building rooftop who fired on protesters trying to break into the Thai-Japanese stadium, resulting in fatalities on December 23, were policemen.

National police commander Adul Saengsingkaew said he would provide further details later, adding that the men in black who struck a civilian’s vehicle with batons were also policemen.

He conceded that both incidents represented police over-reaction and promised a full investigation and disciplinary action in the cases.

“It really happened and I must admit it. The escalating violence compelled police to step back as protesters opened fire, killing a policeman and injuring many others,” said Pol Gen Adul.

He said a group of police, dressed in black, were assigned to the rooftop of the adjacent Labour Ministry on the orders of their superiors and that the authorities also know the identities of the policemen who hit the civilian’s car.

A video clip of the attack taking place on a car with a volunteer nurse and passengers inside has gone viral on social networks.  

Pol Gen Adul said police will assess the planned “Bangkok shutdown” on Jan 13 as announced by protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban to determine the authorities response.

He would not say if the military would be asked to help deal with the citywide demonstrations which are intended to paralyse the capital.

The anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) demanded clarification by caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra over conflicting reports about the men in black.

The Centre for Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO), specially set up to deal with anti-government activities, said earlier that the men in black were protesters while Metropolitan Police Commander Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit Thoopkrachang put the blame on a so-called 'third party" who opened fire from the Labour Ministry’s rooftop.

PDRC spokesman Akanat Promphan said the national police chief should disclose the units to which the men in black were attached and the names of persons who ordered the rooftop mission.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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