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Behind the barricades with Seh Daeng's "Black Angels"

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Two Asia Times Online correspondents infiltrated the Red Shirts' Black army, and lived to tell the tale.

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MsExPat's picture
Submitted by MsExPat on

This (from the WaPo journalist's account):

Victorious over rice farmers in flip-flops and riffraff with slingshots, molotov cocktails and a few guns, the commander in chief of the Royal Thai Army has moved swiftly to contain another menace:

Or this? (from the atimes.com reporters):

'Not Terrorists Not Violent; Only Peaceful and Democracy,'' read a banner hanging outside the barrier of jumbled tires. Inside, it was an open secret who the gunmen were; no less secret were the perimeter bombs, connected by dirty gray cables, designed to inflict heavy casualties on any advancing government army soldiers.

Some of the men held their firearms tightly concealed under jackets. Just after sunset, oblong packages wrapped in black plastic were carried into tents in Lumpini Park from elsewhere in the camp.

The Ronin were structured like a military unit, complete with a radioman and the combat medic. They apparently had had training in explosives and munitions, which they put to use in handling plastic explosives and planting bombs for remote-detonation along the camp's edge.

Were the Red Shirts a) only peaceful rice farmers with slingshots, or b) grenade and plastic explosive toting Black-shirted Ronins, paid by Thaksin and under the command of Seh Daeng?

The UDD/Puea Thai party says A. The government would say A and B.

I was there, did not see weapons (beyond knives and sharpened sticks), but did see the "Black Shirts." They are real, and they were menacing. So based on observation, I have to agree with the government that there was a threat to peace greater than rice farmers and slingshots. How great that threat was, and how many weapons, and of what kind, there were is a question I'd like to see answered with evidence.

Which the government has not, as yet provided. I want to see the proof of the money trails.