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Pattaya Daily News

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17 May 2010 :: 11:05:22 am 20528

Revenge Attacks Feared as ‘Seh Daeng’ Pronounced Dead

Suspended Thai army Major General Khattiya Sawasdiphol has been pronounced dead at 9:20am on Monday by Vajira Hospital administration staff. The former general was shot by a suspected sniper on Thursday evening as he was conducting an interview with international journalists over the current Red Shirt crisis. Commonly known as ‘Seh Daeng,’ Khattiya was an unofficial leader of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) and a greatly respect figurehead of the current Red Shirt movement and the poor rural community in Thailand’s North and North-Eastern provinces.
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Bangkok, the 17th of May 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Bangkok’s Vajira Hospital, in a public announcement, revealed the death of ‘Seh Daeng’ at 9:20am on Monday morning, although as yet no cause is known. The suspended general had lapsed into a coma after having been shot in the head on Thursday night, with reports that he had suffered kidney failure surfacing early on Sunday morning. Many of the current Red Shirts protesters referred to Seh Daeng as ‘father’ a term of endearment used by the Thai people generally reserved for those that are respected members of the community.

It is still unknown who was responsible for ordering the shooting on Seh Daeng however it is now assumed, due to the isolated nature of the attack, that it was planned. Seh Daeng was not only an unofficial Red Shirt leader, but an iconic figure for the anti-government party’s movement for an immediate dissolution. Seh Daeng in one of his more official capacities with the Red Shirts was that of a defence organiser, the man was instrumental in setting up the heavily fortified ‘compound’ that is now Ratchaprasong, also helping Red Shirt ‘guards’ to learn how to protect themselves, as best possible, from the heavily armed military and security personnel.

The death of Seh Daeng may have huge ramifications for the current political crisis which is affecting Bangkok, revenge attacks on government officials and political leaders are now feared, should an opportunity present itself. Throughout the night, grenade blasts and homemade explosive devices have been found or reported across the capital, whilst the death toll from the current 4-day long, government organised, crackdown has reached 35 with up to 245 people wounded including 6 foreigners. International intervention in the worsening crisis is shortly expected although the Thai government has reportedly rejected their appeals to assist.

At present the UK, US and Australian embassies have all closed their respective doors, whilst the US embassy has also evacuated all non-essential embassy staff and their families back to America amidst certain areas of the Thai capital being declared as ‘live firing’ zones. There does not seem to be a clear end to the current crisis, with the military crackdown grinding to a halt as they are being met with stern resistance from the Red Shirts. Although food and water supplies have been prevented from reaching the main Red Shirt encampment, the size and nature of the affected area in Bangkok is providing the Reds with ample opportunity to outsource their basic needs. The current defiance of the Red Shirts, thought to number between 6-10,000 at present, is expected to intensify as reports continue to surface that reinforcements are currently en-route to the capital to aid in the movement.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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