Truth panel in Thailand says conflicts are festering
BANGKOK — An independent commission set up by the Thai government to investigate deadly clashes in Bangkok two years ago warned Monday that conflicts in Thai society were still simmering and that the country risked another “escalation to violence.”
The Truth for Reconciliation Commission of Thailand released a 351-page report that laid blame for the more than 90 deaths in Bangkok in 2010 on both the powerful military and a shadowy group of militants, known as black shirts, who hid among protesters.
“We found the use of weapons of war by officials to control the crowd,” Somchai Homlaor, a member of the commission, said at a briefing in Bangkok on Monday.
The black shirts “cooperated and gained support” from some protesters, Somchai said, and had sophisticated weapons.
In one of the most anticipated findings, the commission said Khattiya Sawatdiphol, a renegade general who sided with the protesters, was assassinated by a sniper most likely located in a building controlled by the authorities. The shooting of Khattiya, who was popularly known as Seh Daeng, led to spasms of violence on the streets of Bangkok. He was shot while being interviewed by a reporter for The New York Times.