~Meaw & More~

Icon

Reactive blogger (~and more~)

Unnecessary Evil

Seem like the CRES wanted to smear more green on upcoming red shirt protest and gathering.   Those “mental” attackers aimed at MRT and BTS, according to Deputy PM Suthep.

The country is so ready to celebrate its own 911 mode with a lot of army personnel standing on guards around  shopping district just to make the situation worst for tourism. Still, the PM and his Deputy cannot warrant Bangkok would be bomb and grenade free. Mr. Suthep still said, “don’t panic.” when recently the presence of the military did not deter the bomb makers and grenade lauchers.

We also have Sirichoke who thought he outdid Victor Bout and lure But to talk about his connection with Thaksin. To be fair, it was Sirichoke who did all the talking.

To me, the red shirts who went to the protests and other activities are perfect goats for this building up tension. Maybe the government wanted men in red instead of trying to catch men in black. Men in black was not destabilizing the state and they were long gone.

So I guess this time they will try to link everything to the red shirts and caught them red handed using any methods that kill or the fun in the city.

Remember what Mr. Suthep said. Don’t panic– but the hidden message might be don’t join the red activities. Perhaps, the government is justifying its huge increase in military budget.

I could not think of anything better than having the army seal their weapon depots and watch for anyone who try to gain access to explosive devices.

Filed under: Political Sciences, , ,

wake up this morning

Got up this morning, did my emails surfing the sites (blocked, naturally) and found this bit of AHRC bulletin in mailbox. Hit save, and wanted badly to share another example of human right defender abused by the military, well how many cases in a month. Lost my count.

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to forward to you the following statement concerning an army raid on the office of the human rights group, Working Group on Justice for Peace (WGJP) in Pattani, southern Thailand.

Asian Human Rights Commission
Hong Kong

————-

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AHRC-FST-013-2009
February 10, 2009

A Forwarded Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

THAILAND: State must refrain from threatening human rights defenders

The office of the Working Group on Justice for Peace – Pattani was searched by a group of 20 police and army officers in the early hours of February 8. The officers arrived in three pick-up trucks and were under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Pravej Sudhiprapha who stated that the search was conducted under Martial Law legislation upon information that militants were seen in the area. At the time, two volunteers of WGJP were staying at the office and they were asked to show their ID cards and were interrogated by the officers about activities at the office. The officers were searching the office for approximately three hours inspecting data within the computers and taking photos of materials. The officers then left without taking anything with them. The volunteers reported that the search went on peacefully and principally.

Coincidentally, it was reported in the Bangkok Post on 7 February 2009 that “many human rights and student activists have now gone to the South to meet local residents and gain first-hand information about the operations of security officers, particularly regarding the arrests of suspected insurgents. Isoc warned that southern militants may take the opportunity to disguise themselves as rights activists in order to incite hatred against officials or distort information to create misunderstanding about security operations among locals.” (Full text of article reproduced below.)

WGJP is deeply concerned about this incident as well as the news reports as it could be understood among civil society as a threat to human rights defenders working in the three southern provinces. The claims made in the newspaper discredit the work of human rights activists who have gained trust by the local population having provided them with a channel to voice their grievances and report violations of their rights. These threatening activities undermine peacebuilding efforts in the South and further incite mistrust of the officials. Human rights defenders play a vital role in protecting human rights and establishing rule of law in the South.

WGJP recently published a report on the situation of human rights defenders which clearly elaborated upon the threats faced by defenders and the need for protection. Within the report, WGJP urged the government to ensure that “public officials refrain from making statements that stigmatize human rights defenders or suggest that human rights organizations act improperly or illegally.” In this light, WGJP calls upon the government and the army, particularly the Army Chief and 4th Army Chief to:

1. Stop operations that threaten and undermine the work of human rights defenders and respect the valuable work of them.
2. Ensure the intelligence unit under ISOC has clear evidence before accusing individuals or organizations of wrongdoing as it would otherwise be perceived as a threat and attempt to manipulate the work of human rights defenders.
3. In case evidence was found to prove that militants disguise themselves as rights activists, to investigate and bring suspects to court as soon as possible.
4. Respect and implement the international laws, including its obligation to protect human rights defenders, that Thailand has ratified as stated in article 82 paragraph 1 of the present Constitution.

*******************************

For further information contact:

Angkhana Neelaphaijit: 084 728 0350
Puttanee Kangkun: 086 332 1249

*******************************

ISOC WARNS OF MILITANT PLOTS
Bangkok Post Published: 7/02/2009 at 12:00 AM

The Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 has warned that southern rebels may disguise themselves as rights activists to incite hatred among local residents against government officials.

Isoc issued its warning during a meeting of the peace-building council yesterday, said a source.

In its report, Isoc said many human rights and student activists have now gone to the South to meet local residents and gain first-hand information about the operations of security officers, particularly regarding the arrests of suspected insurgents.

Isoc warned that southern militants may take the opportunity to disguise themselves as rights activists in order to incite hatred against officials or distort information to create misunderstanding about security operations among locals.

According to the Isoc report, a total of 85 violent attacks took place in the deep South in January alone, claiming 44 lives and injuring 79.

Pattani suffered the highest number of violent attacks, followed by Narathiwat, Yala and Songkhla.

The source said rebels had tried to carry out violent attacks on economic targets in the South. Many explosives were reportedly hidden in border areas.

# # #

About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

—————————–
Asian Human Rights Commission
19/F, Go-Up Commercial Building,
998 Canton Road, Kowloon, Hongkong S.A.R.
Tel: +(852) – 2698-6339 Fax: +(852) – 2698-6367 (Emphasis added)

Even if you do not receive this from the mailing list, please consider informing or forwarding to other people. This is state of human rights we are in. The situation in the south could not be improved by harassing or keeping people away from what they would like to do, particularly, if the covert policies cause or fail to prevent death and disappearance. Perhaps finding people would be easier than finding bomb making material or weapons cache.

Filed under: Political Sciences, , , , ,

Firearms Crimes Stat in the South

Just when you think that I am holidaying, Santa Meaw dig in her harddisk and found firearms crime stat in the South of Thailand, including but not limited to the so called restive deep south.

Would be update more when the police HQ finally make all the links work.

tally firearms stat

 So the area that was partially control was military weapons. However, more civilian firearms offended  could be noted during 2008. As trend of military weapons offenses were reduced. Does this make me less worry? Nope. I am afraid that the non-military weapons could come in more handy in the city, drive by shooting and the conceal carry and easy access to ammunition would cost more life. I also worry that the stolen civilian firearms will now play more role that traditional military weapons. Civilian weapons could be “refilled” easily by killing or injured  someone and get the rest of the ammunition from the endless living weapon cache, by attacking armed civilians, which could be easier that raid a military weapon depots.

Yet still, what characterize “deep” south is surging military weapons cases in police statistic, comparing to other provinces in the same police region.

Narathiwat is still the hotspot. But it should be noted that civilian firearms offenses, despite it cannot be speculated from the police information, were very heavy in Songkla- a borderline province, while the rest of the deep south the offenses were, to my surprise, lower than other provinces out if the deep south area. Probably gun recycling? Cannot capture offenders? Bombs are cheaper? Why oh why?

For the details of offenses relating to firearms, check the law in  Kramer (2001) 

Anyway, Santa meaw has to really have a holiday. Let me know if you are sick of my bangkok politics because I am sick of it, too. 

Peace everybody  and enjoy the rest of the xmas-new year continuum.

Filed under: Political Sciences, , , , ,

Surveillance in Narathiwas and “Security Measure” in Yala

Thairath reported early today that Narathiwas province will be givern B 300 million Baht for CCTV networks on major areas like market, roads and shops and communities. The project is said to help authority to track perpetrators.

Meanwhile, Bangkok Post online reported “Enhanced security for southern railways“:

(BangkokPost.com) – Yala Governor Thira Mintrasak said security forces in the three southern border provinces have been assigned to beef up their operations, following a number of unrest events in the region lately.

Mr Thira said police and military personnel and civil servants in the deep South are stepping up their security measures in public areas, including the southern railways. He said more than 2,000 people in Yala are using free third class train services per day, and the route runs from Hat Yai to Sungai Kolok.

Despite the recent insurgent acts, tourists from Malaysia continue to visit Hat Yai district of Songkhla province, as they are confident in the security efforts provided by the Thai authority. According to the Hat Yai Hotels’ Association, about 70 percent of the hotel rooms have been reserved this week. All hotel rooms in Hat Yai are fully booked during the celebration of the Independence Day of Malaysia from August 31 to September 1.

I hope it would not be extreme as having armed officers in every southbound train.

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , ,

Red Zone

Srisompop Chitpiromsri had an interesting article in Deep South Watch and Prachatai. The title read “ศรีสมภพ จิตร์ภิรมย์ศรี: 4 ปีครึ่งไฟใต้: ความล้มเหลวนโยบายคุมพื้นที่สีแดง” (4.5 Years of Southern Fire]: Failure of Policies to Control Red Zones. ) Using casualties analysis, Srisompob summarized that in the “qualitative violence” the number of violence seemed to reduce but each casualties during the latter phase are precise, more violence and, causing more casualties and injuries […] comparing to the earlier phase. [อาจจะตีความได้ว่าความรุนแรงที่เกิดขึ้นในช่วงหลัง เป็นความรุนแรงในเชิงคุณภาพ เป้าหมายชัดขึ้น การก่อเหตุแต่ละครั้งจึงทำให้มีการตายและบาดเจ็บมากขึ้น อย่างดีที่สุดที่มาตรการทางทหารจะทำได้ก็คือจำกัดขอบเขตของการสูญเสียไม่ให้มากเกินไป หรือไม่ก็ป้องกันมิให้แนวโน้มความรุนแรงสูญเสียขยายตัวไปมากขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว จนควบคุมไม่ได้] He estimated that military measures could “only to circumscribe massive casualties or prevent the trend of [casualties] from spreading too fast that they could be out of control.” He offered to solve the problems from fundamental and structural issue

I am interested in zone.
However, was “zone” to be responsible? Should we control red yellow and green zones strictly? Should a village be label and treated accordingly to reduce violence according to the zoning.

Red zone was an example Carlo Bonura’s paper delivered at faculty of Political Sciences, Thammasat University, used to demonstrated “indeterminacy of geographies.”

Political community, as seen in the work of Jacques Ranciere, is
always indeterminate in that it exposes a “gap” that prevents it from totally representing the sum
of its parts. In fact, the core function of political community, according to Ranciere, is to classify, categorize and manage these “parts” of society. (Bonura, 2007)

Zoning is a way to manage the situation, to decide how to deal with local people or how many troops should be deployed. Zoning is never without politicalization. Yet the point I am interested is the perception of zone and security policies. While state treat zone as ‘semi permanent,’ insurgents treated them as elusive. The borders are meant to be crossed, the green zone are meant to be tampered. Whether or not state have to assume the role of “separatist” according to Ranciere, I will leave it to readers to read the rest of interesting article.

As Paisarn Phromyong, the Deputy secretary general
of the Central Islamic Committee of Thailand argued “southern bandits can operate in
any area, not just in a red zone. And a green zone can be turned into a red one at any time if
residents change their minds. (Bonura, 2007, p 7)

A combination of casualties, estimated attitude of people towards state officers, the number of Buddhist/Muslin ratio, cooperation of local people with officers and operation of insurgent would probably be a factor to determine a zone.

Back to Srisompob’s article, from state’s point of view, the zone that the state created would be managed and neutralized,(reduce red to yellow and yellow to green) while Paisarn’s argument suggested that people, not geographical space are factors to determine the zone, according to state’s criteria. Along with military operation, the state has introduced “psychological operation” and other non-military interventions to respective zones (re-education, detention, mobilization of pro-state supporters, arrange for “buddhists” to live in special protected areas so they will not leave the province, etc.) Thus, zone management is also inclusive of people in the zone management, whether they are civilians, partisan, military or insurgents.

Despite zones are fixed, it can be changed, a red can be green and vice versa. Apart of changing people’s mind, casualties, like weapons smuggling, can be imported. But watching a zone is easier than tracking people, eh?

Another point that would be interesting is to compare casualties in zone to see if zoning can help reducing violence?

Filed under: Security, , , , ,

Reprisal: Extra-judicial Killing in The Deep South and Blogs

Midnight of 20 June 2008, a young Pol. Lt. was blogging on his birthday. Turning 24, he volunteered to be working in Yala (earlier dubbed as “Timore Leste,” to avoid his family’s suspicions), early in the same morning, he was killed in an ambushed. As a popular blogger earlier at diaryis.com (see polize.diaryis.com), there are many people in the same blog-sphere and other people who had been introduced by several TV and newspaper report and blog search to read Pol.Lt. Tee’s blog. Many post patriotic responses, his colleagues inform him that they will get “’em” for sure. Later I read a Matichon reported read “six were extra-judicially executed, upon knowing that they have engaged in an ambush that kill Pol.Lt. Tee,” only seven days later.

I don’t know if there are blogs in Malayu or in Jawi and if the family of six extra-judicially murdered will have any chance to redeem the history of the death for Thai middle class blog writers and readers, mostly not living in the area.

Lt. Tee is not the only one working there blogging and will remain blogging, influencing public opinion and provoke ‘patriotic’ feeling for people who would neither work there nor know what it is like from other point of view. They would only know that the border patrol police, the military and anyone work there do it for the good of the nation and to save a piece of land Thais are entitled to. Police officers and military officers there are “good” and insurgents are “bad.” That is what a blog on the south by officers, who cannot really tell operation details and what they do, can related to.

And that might become a neutral fact to some blog readers. I would not be surprised if someone would write: “I heard that your mates killed them for your revenge, sleep well.” And people will think that it is justified to kill six insurgents/civilians to revenge for one officer. “They fought back,” was a reason explained in another blog showing insider post operation photos. (See also: http://www.oknation.net/blog/southpeace)

Filed under: Security, , , , , , , ,