Third hand

At this moment I’m almost convinced that the Saturday violence was provoked by a third hand, professional soldiers of Khattiya’s variety.

First, the outbreak of violence at Kok Wua came without warning, no one noticed any particular troop build up or anything, it caught all the reporters there off guard. Look at this ThaiFaq’s recap, there are two videos there, too, you can clearly see (hear) how gun shots came out of the blue.

It’s impossible to tell who were the first victims, but it’s clear that the reaction was immediate and both sides engaged in a deadly exchange.

Over here you can see some video of gun shots fired at the soldiers, and some gun toting red guards as they appeared on Al Jazeera.

Once the fighting started, and that included throwing rocks, sticks, molotov cocktails, non-government issue tear gas and grenades at the soldiers, the “third hand” were picking the targets at will on both sides.

Apparently they took a higher ground, on the second floor of the buildings at the intersection and so had clear view of both the army and the reds. There was a video replayed on public TV today showing someone firing from a second floor window, haven’t seen it on youtube yet, sorry.

UPDATE Ok, here it is – at about 20 second mark there are shots fired from the red crowd very close to the camera, and at about 1 min mark there’s a shot fired from the second story building on the right. For a few seconds before that people were pointing at that spot with laser pointers and flashlights, meaning they’ve spotted the shooter earlier and the recorded shot was probably not the first one.

One of the Nation’s editors talked to an aide to the killed army colonel, the soldiers took a lot of fire from the higher ground, pointing at the involvement of a third hand again. Perhaps that’s also how they spotted the command tent and accurately fired a grenade from a grenade launcher that killed the colonel and left four other troops in coma.

The worst thing about these third hands, though, is that they created “martyrs” from innocent red shirts, too. Look at this video, here’s a guy, well away from the troublespot, separated from the soldiers by god knows how many protesters, doing nothing in particular, gets half of his head suddenly blown off.

I’m not a forensic scientist, but I don’t believe a stray bullet from M-16 could have possibly done that. A sniper rifle from a second floor and less than a hundred meters away is a far better explanation.

Why would they have killed their own reds? Well, red leaders got a lot of mileage from snatching this man’s body from a hospital, draping it into a Thai flag and putting it on the red stage for all to see and fill their hears with rage and hatred towards the army.

Tomorrow they are going to parade his body around Bangkok, along with many others. How many of them were actually killed by third hands? Bangkok Pundit didn’t give the sources here but his conclusion also supports the theory of snipers shooting reds.

And, to top it off, we have this admission from Khattiya himself about “Ronin warriors” helping out red shirts to kill the soldiers.

This third hand theory explains everything that happened on that fateful Saturday – the initial outbreak of violence, crucial killings on both sides, scaring soldiers into indiscriminate firing at red protesters as they mistakenly thought that it was reds who were shooting at them, it also explain the escalation of violence – the previous clashes were far less violent with no signs of live ammunition used.

Various analysts have long warned that some third party was ready to stage a provocation and possibly even kill some red leaders in order to take the confrontation to the next level. It seems the army got caught and responded with excessive force.

To be fair to the army, there were people with guns in the red crowd, too, some probably confiscated them from the soldiers earlier, but some of “Ronin” helpers brought their own with a full intent to use them against both sides if necessary.

Now, if the government can put up a quick presentation outlining the involvement of this third hand, and, especially, seed some serious doubts that it was not the soldiers who killed some of the most prominent red victims, it might go a long long way towards diffusing the situation. It will surely take the steam out of tomorrow’s martyr march and, perhaps, even unite the reds and the government against the common enemy.

I bet there will be a massive sigh of relief on both sides if they can find a credible scapegoat. In fact the whole country would be greatly relieved – it wasn’t us, reds and yellows, it was “them” who were responsible for the worst violence in recent history.

Come to think of it, even if the theory turns out not to be true after full investigation, the result might justify presenting it now anyway – if it brings the warring sides together. That’s a bit of a moral dilemma, the end justifies the means, but I can’t immediately see a possible downside.

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9 Responses

  1. Do you consider Maj Gen K to be part of UDD (although he’s supposed to been thrown out), or would you classify him as a “third hand” ?

    He’s been quite correctly “clairvoyant” in the past when he pointed out possible forthcoming grenade attacks. He talked about the past today, when he talked about “ronin” warriors”, so that should be easier.

    I think he was/is some kind of a SF guy.

    • Third hand, in a sense the UDD can easily disown him, though in general he is certainly part of their movement.

      If his people were involved in Saturday killings and some red leaders knew about it before hand, that would be a PR disaster for UDD.

      Oh, and check the update on the shooter on the higher ground, now there’s a video.

  2. […] is gaining more credibility as more video footage of the violence emerges and appears to show snipers firing into the crowds. This then appears to have triggered a violent reaction on both sides. This would seem to be […]

  3. You have it wrong the third hand is not gen k… Much higher than that as the yellows had a third… Well this is the other hand there is a right and a left on 2 different sides …. Can not say any more …work it out for yourself

  4. Gen K is just a convenient moniker. The “third hand” might very well be taking orders from someone else.

    It appears that their names and allegiances are already known.

  5. Human Rights Watch has a report out on the Thai violence. Some interesting tid-bits:

    – Video footage and still photos showed some soldiers firing M16 and TAR21 assault rifles in the air with live ammunition throughout that afternoon. Human Rights Watch has obtained photos showing that magazines of those assault rifles were loaded with the live ammunition (green-tipped 5.56-mm ball M855 ammunition). Teargas canisters were thrown from a military helicopter at the protesters, risking death and serious injuries among protestors from the falling canisters.

    – The situation on April 10 became more violent after nightfall as both sides engaged in gunfights. The protesters regrouped and fought back with metal pipes and sharpened bamboo sticks. Some of them hurled petrol bombs at the soldiers, while others attacked the soldiers with improvised explosive devices. Some soldiers were filmed shooting with live ammunition directly at the protesters with M16 and TAR21 assault rifles.

    – On the night of April 10, protesters armed with M16 and AK47 assault rifles fired upon soldiers at Khok Wua Intersection on Rajdamnoen Road. Some of them fired M79 grenades and threw M67 hand grenades at the soldiers. Video footage showed that these gunmen operated with a high degree of skill and coordination. Some of their attacks appeared to be aimed specifically at killing and maiming commanding officers of the army units involved in crowd dispersal operations.

    – Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that some UDD protesters stopped ambulances on their way to hospitals. They dragged injured soldiers out of the ambulances and beat them.

    – UDD leader Nathawut publicly urged protesters to loot and destroy high-end shopping malls in that area. While under pressure from the military to clear the area, Abhisit ordered the government not to attempt to disperse the UDD protesters at Ratchaprasong intersection for fear of heavy casualties and damages.

    – “Prime Minister Abhisit’s announcement that he will investigate the conduct of the security forces is unprecedented, but he needs to show the will and ability to follow through,” said Adams. “At the same time, regardless of their stated grievances, those in the UDD responsible for crimes must be brought to justice. The UDD’s leaders should understand that when they use violence, they cannot claim to be a peaceful movement.”

    full, lengthy report at following address:
    http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/04/12/thailand-end-political-violence-bring-offenders-justice

    • Thanks for posting most important details here. It looks very damning to red shirts.

      HWR demands for the government should be met, too.

  6. Hi Stan,
    We were chattting over on Absolutelybangkok.com about this. I just want to say that I disavow the last comment attributed to me. The comment has been edited to obscure my meaning. I sent a message to bangkok Dan owner of the site suggesting that he might have mistaken my meaning when he was editing the grammar but after 24 hours there is no sign that the comment has been returned to its original meaning. I gather that, as you seem to a be somewhat partisan in your thinking you are an unpopular person in some quarters. Well we all consciously or unconsciously identify with the interests of certain people more than others. Probably we identify with different groups but that’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to discus and argue in a civilized way. The tone of my comment now appears dismissive and that was certainly not my intention. As Dan hasn’t published my correction I have cut and pasted it below if you are interested.

    Dan,
    In the final sentence of the last comment I meant to say
    Looking for more complicated explanations, however well intentioned your motives may be, is probably futile.
    I realize that you often edit the comments for grammar and spelling and certainly in my case I appreciate you taking the time. When I am commenting on an iphone its very difficult to go back and correct or edit. In this case though my statement’s meaning has been lost.
    Perhaps I should also say that I observed people being shot in the Balkans in the 1990’s and my comments are based on those experiences. The incident I referred to was recorded and is available along with many other attrocity videos from the Open Society Archive in Budapest.

    • I think I lost you here.

      Basically, I think soldiers started shooting straight into the crowd when they panicked, I don’t believe anyone gave them any specific orders.

      What I suspect is that actual victims were not killed by their random fire but were picked out by cold blooded snipers.

      Four-five shots to the head, the rest to the chest – I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

      Perhaps the soldiers didn’t kill anyone at all, only wounded hundreds of people.

      Oh, and the truth doesn’t matter, what matters is the public perception of what happened.

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