A Bangkok monk says claims by the Thailand government that the army only fired blanks at red-shirted pro-democracy supporters at Din Daeng last Monday (April 13) are not true and that those shot include a Buddhist monk.
The accusations by the head monk of a Bangkok city temple come despite repeated claims by Thailand Prime Minister Abhisit Veijajiva that the only fatalities from the government crack-down on pro-democracy supporters were the result of clashes between protesters and residents in the Nang Lerng market area on Monday night.
The monk, who chose the pseudonym, Sajja‚ (the word truth in Thai) for his safety and asked that his temple not be named, said he went to the Din Daeng area around 6.00am on April 13 after hearing reports of clashes earlier that morning between the Thai army and red-shirt protesters.
According to Sajal, when he got to Din Daeng he saw “bodies loaded in a refrigerated truck, including a monk. The roadway was wet as if it had just been hosed down”, he said.
Many people killed
Prakal Riddiloy, a Phak Puea Thai (PPT) complaints officer said, we know many people have been killed, hurt or are missing after the military action earlier this week. We intend to raise this matter as soon as parliament opens next week.
The state of emergency and clash between red shirt protesters loyal to fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and government troops was the latest in long-running back-and-forth battles over Thailand’s political future following the ouster of the elected People’s Power Party (PPP) government by a military coup d’état in September 2006.
Late year hundreds of thousands of tourists were stranded after both of Bangkok’s airports were seized by yellow-shirted People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) supporters.
The siege ended when Thailand’s Constitutional Court disbanded the ruling PPP under changes to Thailand’s constitution introduced by the military junta in 2006.
Following the de-registration of the PPP a number of former government coalition members, including members of the PPP, switched sides enabling the Democrat Party led by Mr Abhisit to form government. Those PPP members who did not change sides formed the PPT party.
The so-called red shirts‚ formed under the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), a group with close links to Shinawatra, first laid siege to Thailand’s Government House on March 26 demanding prime minister Abhisit dissolve parliament and call fresh elections.
The UDD stepped up its campaign against the government of Mr Veijajiva with a mass rally on April 8 which attracted some 150,000 people.
On April 11 thousands of red shirt protesters caused Thailand enormous loss of face when they stormed the luxury Royal Cliff Hotel and Resort in Pattaya forcing the 10 Asean member heads of state plus those of six regional dialogue nations to flee and the 14th Asean Summit to be postponed.
Video John Le Fevre
- Songkran Battle for Bangkok April 8 – 13, 2009 (video)
- Thailand on the edge ahead of mass pro-democracy protest
He has spent extensive periods of time working in Africa and throughout Southeast Asia, with stints in the Middle East, the USA, and England.
He has covered major world events including Operation Desert Shield/ Storm, the 1991 pillage in Zaire, the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the 1999 East Timor independence unrest, the 2004 Asian tsunami, and the 2009, 2010, and 2014 Bangkok political protests.
In 1995 he was a Walkley Award finalist, the highest awards in Australian journalism, for his coverage of the 1995 Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) Ebola outbreak.
Most recently he was the Thailand editor/ managing editor of AEC News Today . Prior to that he was the deputy editor and Thailand and Greater Mekong Sub-region editor for The Establishment Post, predecessor of Asean Today.
In the mid-80s and early 90s he owned JLF Promotions, the largest above and below the line marketing and PR firm servicing the high-technology industry in Australia. It was sold in 1995.
Opinions and views expressed on this site are those of the author’s only. Read more at About me
Latest posts by John Le Fevre (see all)
- Kaavan’s great escape photo special (video & gallery) – November 30, 2020
- A real life fairy tale: Cambodia provides sanctuary to Kaavan, the world’s loneliest elephant (video & gallery) *updated – November 30, 2020
- Thailand’s young rice farmers boost income, slash costs with switch to organic, AWD method – May 29, 2015
- Does Thailand’s failure to communicate mask a bigger problem? – May 25, 2015
Thank you for the article :-)
Strongly support comment of Contemplative. John Le Fevre intentionally ignored unacceptable behaviours of the RED Shirt. They attacked Nang Lerng Community and killed 2 poeople. They also attacked a mosque in Petchaburi Rd. They used a gas truck as a weapon which seriously threatened people in Din Daeng area. But John Le Fevre did not report these events. NOT SURE IF HE IS A REAL JOURNALIST.
A good journalist should not be biased. . If I were the editor, I would certainly throw this story in a trash bin as it is sub-standard, one sided and imbalanced.
Far from ignoring the unacceptable behaviour of the red shirts I have displayed numerous photographs of them in action. I was at Nang Lerng and saw the people there being incited to attack the red shirts. I also was there at the time one of the red shirts was shot. I have also commented about the gas tanker and the attack on the local residents by the red shirts. So, far from ignoring it, I have documented it.
What I find to be amazing though is your small minded approach to the matter that perhaps some people did die at Din Daeng. The UDD video which is online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvY7kzaV9V4 clealry shows a wet road. It is also clearly after 4am. I can see from your comment though that is much more important to attack me, than even contemplate the possibility that people were killed. How many people are still missing from Black May, 1992? Answer: 187.
That’s the reason why you are not, nor never will be, a journalist or an editor.
6days with 30comments, um.. great job and not bad at all for some ‚Äúaccusation‚Äù with, may be some “fact” inside.I just follow the link from my friend’s fwd mail and found your article very entertaining to read. And, just found out that not only some information-shortaged Thai people who have faith in the power of the RED SHIRT, but also some foreigner. Keep staying longer here might help you find some “fact” other than ‚Äúaccusation‚Äù in a short period of time.
hey, why i comment and not see the statement.
Your comment was not posted because you supplied a false email address
I do not know if you are a REAL jounalist or not but to what I understand journalists are the GATE-KEEPER. The responsibilities of the GATE-KEEPERS are to monitor all the on-going news AND double-check if they are accurate and reliable or not, then later let them in the house for people to consume. If jounalists just let all the news – positive and negative – come in the house without double-checking, how soon you can see PEACE in the society which most people want. To become great people, one must be resposible in what one has been doing.
Thanks for your comment. As I have repeatedly said, the monk’s story was tested as much as possible at the time of interview. His claim is not reported as fact but as an accusation. There is a difference.
Is it same monk who try to kill PM?
I have no idea but I don’t think this old fella could kill anyone.
If all these people were shot by the army and their bodies taken away in trucks then why a week later are we not hearing stories from the families of the missing people???
I know you tried to find the truth from this story, but what do you know exactly? I am not trying to insult the monk or something, but for the fact that the red shirts started to threw the fired-bottle, tried to hit the army with the taxi, and so on, all of that started around 4 o’clock in the morning, and the monk was there around 6am when the army started to fight back and protect the country and themselves. I was up all night and I saw almost everything. If you are the real journalist, IF YOU REALLY ARE MR.LE FEVRE, you would also talk about the gas truck, the people around Dindaeng gathered around and begged the red to move the gas truck, and supported the army by protcting the army while they were moving the truck out of the area!! IF YOU ARE REAL, you would talk about the people around Nang Lerng stood up with the army to banish these ungreatful-to-the-country that think they have “democracy” beneath them. AND IF YOU ARE REAL,
I was at the location of one gas truck. You can see the photo in the Battle for Bangkok photo special. The danger from a fire or explosion was very real and I spent some time assisting the residents their in trying to stop the gas that was leaking from the gauge at the top of the gas cock. I also informed the Thai army of the leak but they refused to advance and attempt to isolate the truck or even to send someone – even if in civilian clothes – to try to assist the residents. The photograph of two red shirt protesters on a motorbike holding a petrol bomb was taken at the same location as they were readying themselves to throw at the gas truck. I also saw the protesters there engage in a pitched battle with residents on several occasions. An attempt to ignite a gas truck in a residential area can only be labelled as stupidity. Overall, stupidity on the part of the protesters AND an unwillingness to act by Thai military.
Ah! if it ‘s true
So,they are deserved though.
Cuz, they tried to bother people and encroach humans’ rights by putting frames around BKK espcially,residences which are wooden-houses and seized the gas tanks and stopped in front of people’s residents.This is PEACEFUL AND HARMLESSNESS Demonstration???!??
I just dont understand why you just try to protest for the only one who is absolutely futive criminal and hit the roads in anywhere around the world!!!!
Also,Thaksin committed lese majesty and begged for amnesty from the Majesty??!?? Jesus…..how dare you are :(
Red shirts shot at the Mosque on Petchaburi Road Soi 7.My friend’s uncle caught them and found that they carried many weapons, like, bottled-bombs,machetes,and etc. So this is PEACEFUL???!????
I don’t know what the purpose of this report, It’s look like drift because of
1. The elder monk said that he standing far away 200 meter from which side between soilder and people( not the protester ) and he make sure that truth.
2. If the soilder fires the people ( meaning that people living at dindang area ). Why that no effected from the dindang people inopposite to support the soilder to clear the gas truck that the protestor drive in that area.
3. If it has blood on the road and the soilder hose it, Why it does not the clue of the wet area on the road?
4. All the photo of the report are not cleraly that you must be show all of the event that happening both side (soilder and protector side)and keep the decision by the pepole.
Hey I do agree with ya!!
Is this the news? It should call red bald head speaking..
John,when you stay in Bangkok you should learn more about “THAI” Buddha not “BURMA” Buddha
REAL Thai monk never go to the street like this ,they calm,say only good thing – never had sky-kicked to the PM car.
So next time you will go to interview the right people hehe.., ask the street people ,or get your HD video cam to the street yourself.
Thanks for your comment. As I have repeatedly pointed out, the article says this is an “accusation” by the monk. It does not state the claim as being “fact”.
Have a nice day.
Are you a real/professional journalist? I have checked the Foreign Correspondent Club of Thailand (FCCT) but could not found your record. The FCCT people also told me they have never heard about your name. Are you a real journalist????
You claimed you used to work for APNS in 1975. Which newspaper was it? I have checked Google and found that APNS is not a news agency at all!!??
You sense of news is really ridiculous. Normally, a really professional reporter will report a story when he/she gets at least two RELIABLE sources. You got only one source (which could not be proven as a reliable one), then you reported the story right away!
I am neither a UDD/RED or PAD follower. I am only an ordinary Thai person who want to live in a peaceful country. I really hate people who get paid to create mess in anywhere of the world.
The FCCT is club that people either choose to join or not. I choose not to join it. APNS closed in the early 90’s.
You can also telephone the Australian Journalists Association or the Walkley Foundation. The AJA (part of the MEAA) will tell you I have not been a financial member for many years. There is no benefit to me of being a member when I work in Asia.
The amount of effort you put into checking my qualifications are amusing.
How much have you put into checking what the monk claims? Have you spoken to anyone who was at Din Daeng?
Shoot the messenger and disregard the message. Outstanding Thai loves peace
If a “really professional reporter” waited until they had two sources before writing a story then most investigative stories would never be published. It’s up to you to label the monk a liar or unreliable.
Have a nice day.
A barrage of insulting emails from this person along the same lines as this attacking my professional qualifications have been deleted. This person claimed to have been a journalist for a major a media organisation. A very quick investigation showed they used to be a voice over talent for the BBC Word Service and now work for UNESCO, an organisation that is supposed to work for the betterment of oppressed and disadvantaged children, in Bangkok as a senior communications assistant. In other words, a spin doctor.
something strange about the comments… I can only see 20 comments and no way to display a next page….
I think WordPress counts my replies as comments so it gives an inflated comment count. I think any problems with comments not displaying has now been fixed.
Thanks for reading.
LOL! The truth and “real journalism” IS out there alright but certainly not here.
Missed your coverage of the 2 innocent poor vendors shot to death by the freedom loving reds, who were merely trying to defend their street from being burnt up by the same freedom loving reds.
Also missed your coverage on the 2 dead and over 400 injured when the police actually did come out (on Mr Thaksin’s brother in laws Somchai’s orders). Oh, the cops didn’t bother much this time though… (not their man this time)
Great reporting John, keep up the good propaganda effort.
You’re right [email protected]. You did miss it. Perhaps if you weren’t being so eager to jump on here and leave a negative comment and then bounce off again you would have found it. By the way, it was two killed and 200 injured, but hey, lets not let the facts get in the way of a good tale.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to point them out:
Thailand political crisis worsens – further bloodshed forecast
Thailand tourism in crisis as protesters die in ‚Äòbloody Bangkok‚Äô
In the meantime, you have adequately demonstrated your purpose r purpose in commenting by totally ignoring the claims made by this monk.
Well done [email protected]
I guess anyone with half a brain can see your purpose and political persuasion. If you look the truth really is out there… well on here actually.
I’m sure you’ll still get your PAD payment for making this post.
Cheers, oh, and he who LOL laughs out best. Perhaps next time leave a real email address as well. LOL
These claims have to be taken seriously by someone or governments throughout the world would do as they please. It’s good to see a journalist following up stories that the Thai press can’t or wont.
However, there are a few stories of people being killed and bodies being lifted off the street with the blood being cleaned up instantly, I don’t think so. Are you really trying to tell me there is a cover up from the Government, The Police, The Military, the general public and any tourists who stayed around to take photos????
What about the residents of DD? Surely at least a few of them would have come forward, red or not, and told of such an atrocity.
Someone mentioned before that the red-shirts should have had a cameraman, well there were cameras, hundreds of them, tourists, journalists, international media and Bangkok residents alike. There are no pictures of anyone lying in the street dead after the military engaged the protesters. Surely there would be 1 photo of someone being shot. We could clearly see the effects of the police action against the PAD last year from the same type of coverage.
Just for the record I’m neither red or yellow.
It’s early days yet. Remember it took two weeks for details of Ian Tomlinson’s death at the G-20 protests to come out and that was in a developed country with a supposedly transparent judicial system and after he had already been autopsied once.
Also remember that the emergency declaration censors news reports considered threatening to public order. More than 66 websites have also been blocked since the emergency declaration.
Please view my latest post for a video compilation released by the UDD “red shirts” today.
It is just a one-sided report and lacks strong evidence. Anybody could be an armchair reporter like you.
To be fair, you should also add background about serious allegations against Thaksin (i.e. human rights violations during his regime – these allegations have been raised by the Amnesty International, suppression of press freedom during his prime ministership and etc) which have led to political turmoil in Thailand.
Not sure if you did homework before covering this story or just intentionally ignored other angles. I don‚Äôt want to allege that you have been under influence/control of Thaksin’s spin doctor. Do you know how much Thaksin has paid money to international lobbying companies? Just click and see this http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?lname=Thaksin+Shinawatra&year=2008
I strongly believe that journalists should be independent and serve the public, not being manipulated by politicians.
Last question – are you a real journalist?
Please do not destroy Thailand by spreading rumour around.
Lacks solid evidence? The first-hand account of someone isn’t solid enough. Please [email protected], stop, you make me laugh. The story isn’t about Thaksin it’s about what a monk says he saw. Thaksin is mentioned in earlier posts. This is a news report not a novel.
The problem with the yellow side is they won’t even consider that people may have been killed. This is despite the fact that 187 people are still recorded as officially missing from the “Black May” protests. Perhaps this wikilinks article might refresh your memory – unless it’s blocked by the Thailand Government Black May 1992
You can read the about me section to see my qualifications. You sound like another rabid PAD supporter to me. Your qualifications and area of expertise is what?
I’m currently encoding for upload a video supplied by the UDD today that has Japanese footage (I think) of the first assault at 4am and a second assault at Din Daeng after daybreak. This would support the monks claim of the attack at 6am. You will see it is a fairly vigorous charge.
The early footage from the BBC clearly shows full metal jacketed rounds being loaded into magazines and in link form on larger calibre guns. It will be subject of a fresh post.
RESPECT, John ! let the truth prevail.
“Finding the truth is what real journalism is all about” – unfortunately rare wisdom nowadays.
the more something is denied, especially OFFICIALLY – the more fishy it looks, and the more people are digging for truht.
coz in the end people get the drift:
‚ÄúNever believe anything until it is officially denied‚Äù
P.S. I neither was at DD myself, but I was following up those events whole night till Mon noon on-line – on LIVE broadcast by D-station and later (when it was shut down) on fe of their radio relays. practically all those things this monk said I recall hearing from that broadcast !
I thought: shit ! UDD leaders has made a HUGE mistake of not having their own at least amature camera-men (or better – professional) to record there on the spot ! “Official truth” is ruthless – no evidence, no credibility ! so, UDD leaders should have taken better care of documenting those events and carefully collecting evidences. coz now with this huge Info Blackout – due to the absence of such evidences government hunts them down like rabid dogs as instigators of iviolence and isurgency ! and any info not in line with government’s “Official truth” endangers the person who provides it.
I‚Äôm currently uploading a video supplied by the UDD today that has Japanese footage (I think) of the first assault at 4am and a second assault at Din Daeng in morning daylight.
This would support the monks claim of the attack at 6am. As you will see it is a fairly vigorous charge. The early footage from the BBC clearly shows full metal jacketed rounds being loaded into magazines and in link form on larger calibre guns. It will be subject of a fresh post.
someone mentioned that parts of the report have been on bbc video footage. think that was the part when the army pulled unconscious people into their vehicles. obviously not a typical army job, but then who knows, maybe they have first air divisions.
maybe worth to investigate a bit further.
I’m currently encoding for upload a video supplied by the UDD today that has Japanese footage (I think) of the first assault at 4am and a second assault at Din Daeng in morning daylight. This would support the monks claim of the attack at 6am. As you will see it is a fairly vigorous charge. The early footage from the BBC clearly shows full metal jacketed rounds being loaded into magazines and in link form on larger calibre guns. It will be subject of a fresh post. Thanks John
It is very obvious from your blog above that you are very biased in your views. Do you have a vested interest in such reporting? Thai wife maybe? The true art of professional journalism is in being objective and your article above is certainly not objective. Additionally, what you reported is entirely hearsay and would not be admitted as evidence in a court of law.
Thanks for your comment. As a matter of fact I don’t have a Thai wife. If you call an interview with someone who claims to have been an eye-witness hearsay then you are correct. However, as the man in question states this is what he saw and as he told this to me directly then it falls well outside the definition of hearsay and I suggest you go back and consult your dictionary for the true meaning. It’s obvious from your comment that you are neither a journalist, or a legal expert. My evidence would be considered hearsay; the statement from the monk would be considered direct evidence in a court.
Excuse me, without any intention to support either government or red shirt people, but if the picture is at 6 a.m in BKK (as claimed by the monk that it was the time when shooting happened), the weather should somehow be darker than that or without such strong sun, right?
The photo showing the troops taking aim was not taken at Din Daeng. It was taken at Pratunam considerably later in the day. At 6am though there is plenty of light in Bangkok. Thanks for reading and taking the time to post a comment.
What a load of b@#&cks! I saw MANY monks protesting alongside the reds- before, during and after the clashes…….. seems their political motives and beliefs may not be as genuine as Lord Buddha would encourage.
I also saw some of the clashes at Din Deang (its my job to be at these places) and saw NOTHING like that… i SAW the army with my own eyes firing blanks……. then again maybe i’m being paid to say that???? Or maybe i’m just manipulating and fabricating things to suit my political preference????
Who knows? in my heart i know the truth as does the annonymous monk…however….’Do not assert with your mouth what your heart denies.’ Taoism. Tract of the Quiet Way.
Thanks for your comment. You are right. There were many monks with the red shirt protesters throughout their protest and you will find photos of some of them in the Battle for Bangkok photo special. You don’t say what your job is so that doesn’t add much I’m afraid. I was not at Din Daeng when this incident is alleged to have occurred so can only repeat the accusation made by the monk and preface it by the word “accusation”.
How do you know the army were firing blanks? The rounds I saw being put into magazines at Pratunam were certainly not training rounds, neither were the linked rounds in the runs mounted on top of Hummers. Likewise the shell casings I recovered from Pratunam do not appear to be training rounds. The bullet holes in the buses at Pratunam would also tend to refute the claim that only blanks were fired. Please provide some more details on how you “know” they were blanks.
The accusation by this monk is a very serious one and should be explored as much as possible as they have the potential to cause a lot of distress to many people. Thanks for taking the time to comment and I hope you return and add more detail.
But I guess the round holes in the concrete, windows, and sides of taxis and buses must have been from… borers, perhaps?
Oh, and in the event you are being paid for this comment, please forward a share of your booty to me at…
I saw video of this, I think it was on dstation tv news shortly after the event
perhaps the army has stolen/destroyed the video evidence?
The video I think you are referring to is now embedded as well as hot linked. I’m currently uploading a UDD supplied compilation for a new post that has fresh vision.
It has been a great cover-up from the government but most Bangkok people believed no one has been killed.
We must have hard evidences such as VDO or pictures to prove what was going on that day. Otherwise, no one will listen to our voice.
this inhuman act by thai gorvernment will not go unpunished.
Thanks for your true report.I will ever forget this brutal son of a bitch primnister from a so called Elite Vejchachiva family throughout of my life.Never be too late to revenge,i could wait till reincarnation,i swear..!
hope to take care your self john
‡∏Ñ‡∏ô‡∏ó‡∏µ‡πà‡πÄ‡∏Ç‡πâ‡∏≤‡∏°‡∏≤‡∏≠‡πà‡∏≤‡∏ô‡∏ö‡∏ó‡∏Ñ‡∏ß‡∏≤‡∏°‡∏ô‡∏µ‡πâ‡∏ô‡∏∞‡∏Ñ‡πà‡∏∞ ‡∏û‡∏µ‡πà‡∏à‡∏≠‡∏´‡πå‡∏ô‡∏Ñ‡∏ô‡∏ô‡∏µ‡πâ‡πÅ‡∏Å ‡∏≠‡πà‡∏≤‡∏ô‡∏†‡∏≤‡∏©‡∏≤‡πÑ‡∏ó‡∏¢‡πÑ‡∏°‡πà‡∏≠‡∏≠‡∏Å‡∏´‡∏£‡∏≠‡∏Å‡∏Ñ‡πà‡∏∞
Born as a commoner, getting paid for your funeral is the most. The worse is your body don’t get to funeral.
If one is born the commoner, the best one gets is money for the funeral. The worst is that you don’t get the body.
i like this word
‚ÄúI‚Äôm not a soldier, but I know what blood looks like. I was very shocked to see them shoot these people”
my english is not well but read this so understand
yes i think so
Apisit so bad man of the year
yesterday i saw you at Phak Puea Thai.
so i read your page so good because that true.
Thank you for your comment. Finding the truth is what real journalism is all about. At this stage this is an uncorroborated claim by one monk and more witnesses are required to substantiate this claim.