During the first half of November, pictures of “Myanmar government troops killing two villagers in Ke See” have been spreading on the internet. These were pictures of Nong Khio-based government troops killing two villagers from Pang Ze village, Ke See township, central Shan State in 2011, according to local sources.
On August 10, 2011 the Nong Khio based Burma Army LIB 114 under the command of Battalion 55 based in Kalaw, Southern Shan State, carried out a major offensive targeting the bases of the Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) around Ta Pha Saung, Ke See township. During their military operation, they found a villager called Loong Mon by a stream and killed him. After that, they arrested another village, Sai Tun Khin, tied him to a tree and killed him by slitting his throat, according to one of the local villagers.
“The day that they were arrested and killed was on August 10th 2011. One of the Burmese soldiers from the group that had returned from seizing the SSPP/SSA base came to that village and asked the villagers to go and check whether the man that was killed was one of their villagers or not. That Burmese soldier said: the man said he was from this village, but when we asked him the name of the head monk of this village temple, he couldn’t tell us. So our commanding officer said he is a Shan soldier and on his orders that man was killed,” said a local leader who prefers to remain unnamed.
The Army has decided to deploy more troops to ensure safety for the people in wider areas in anticipation of violence which could escalate during the February 2 general election.
Army spokesperson Col Winthai Suwaree said that as there was indication of rising tension and possible violence, the Army has decided to adjust its deployment of troops to provide security and ensure safety to the people in wider areas.
He said that the adjustment was aimed at enabling troops to access to crisis area immediately to resolve the situation.
This includes the sending of patrol troops to prevent and crack acts of violence and fast moving reinforcement to ease the crisis.
The spokesman said that at present, the Army has deployed troops to support the Centre for the Maintaining of Peace and Order in safeguarding government offices, providing medical services to the people and directing traffic near protest sites as well as arranging psychological team to defuse tension in case of confrontation between rival groups.
He also said that the police are now investigating past violent incidents to bring the wrongdoers for justices and hoped they are making progress in the work.
The Army wished not to see the people in the society resorting to violence as it could widen the conflict that could be hardly resolved and inflict severer damage to the country, he added.
THAI PBS Colonel Winthai Suvaree, deputy spokesman of the army, said that the army could not accept the conduct of Wutthipong Kotthamkul, alias Koh Tee, hard-core red-shirt leader in Pathum Thani who led about 200 motorcyclists from Pathum Thani to harass protesters and officials at the Chaeng Wattana protest site of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee.
The red-shirt group, said Colonel Winthai, also main an unveiled threat that if the Bangkok Shutdown operation does not end in three days they would return to take actions against the protesters as well as officials deployed to provide security at the protest site and its close vicinity.
He questioned the police why the gang was allowed to flout with the law with impunity whereas the police did not take action against them.
Colonel Winthai also expressed concern over the violent incidents which took place in the past couple of days, including a violent incident today when a bomb was lobbed into a crowd of marching protesters on Banthadthong road led by Suthep Thaugsuban. Altogether 36 protesters were injured. Soldiers who later combed a block of deserted buildings at the crime scene where the bomb was believed to be thrown found a small cache of war weapons and ammunition as well as clothing at a deserted building.-
Anti-government protesters rallying at Chaeng Wattana site were attacked shortly after noon today with about 200 red-shirt people with guns and bombs. The Center for the Administration of Peace and Order is now sending police reinforcement to stop the fighting in the area. There was no report of casualties but the People’s Democratic Reform Committee is mobilizing security force to help their colleagues at the Chaeng Wattana site.
The army cannot remain aloof of politics because soldiers whose main job is to handle national security have another duty like the other Thai citizens, said Army Commander-in-Chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha in a statement released Monday by the army spokesman.
The statement is apparently meant to make clear the army’s standpoint in light of the current political conflict and in response to widespread criticism against the army’s aloofness from the conflict.
The conflict is unprecedented and the saying that the army should not get involved in politics cannot be applied fully because soldiers, besides their duty to look after national security have another duty too which is the duty of Thai citizens, said the army chief.
In light of the ongoing conflict, he said that the army was focused on how to prevent the conflict from spiralling out of control into a civil war. He urged the opposing parties in the conflict to try all means to resolve their differences in a peaceful manner so that the state mechanism can function as normal.
“The principle is that all sides must be satisfied with and accept the existing rules and laws; must not breach them or trade accusations at one another to the point that a settlement is impossible because all the systems and rules are destroyed which will put the country at great risk,” said the general in his statement.
Despite all the criticisms or the suggestions, he affirmed that the army would exercise extreme restraint, adding that the army would stick to the rules and the laws.