Photo of PAD man grabbing and dragging red-shirt woman by her hair wins Year’s Best Photo award

Despite its wrong caption, Thai Rath’s photo of a former PAD guard grabbing the hair of a red-shirt woman and dragging her along the road during the military crackdown in April has won the Best Photo of the Year Award from the Mass Media Photographers Association of Thailand (MPA). The MPA President explained it won because it is so vividly emotional that no description is necessary. Abhisit will preside over the ceremony on June 18.

On June 14, the MPA announced the results of its 13th annual contest (2008-2009). For this year, 600 photos and 46 television news clips were submitted to the contest which offered 35 prizes of about 700,000 baht in total.

The Best Photo of the Year went to the photo titled ‘Intolerable’ which captured the moment when a former yellow-shirt guard Kaweekrai Chokepatthanakasemsuk grabbed the hair of a red-shirt woman Mintra Soros, dragging her along Ratchaprarob Road on April 13 after she had reportedly reviled soldiers who were dispersing the red-shirt demonstrators. The photo was taken by Thai Rath’s crime reporter Prasith Niwesthong who will receive the King’s Cup together with a prize of 100,000 baht.

MPA President Wichai Walaphol explained that the jury decided to award the prize because the photo was outstanding and complete in terms of photographical composition captured during the melee. It can be seen in the photo that there were many photographers on the scene, but the photographer who took this photo stood in a particular spot, so he could take this unique picture. This photo is so emotionally descriptive that no description is necessary. The jurists voted for it unanimously, he said.

The ceremony to present the awards will be presided over by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on June 18 at the Sofitel Centara Grand Bangkok Hotel, and will be broadcast live via Channel 7 from 16.30 to 18.30.

The ‘Intolerable’ photo was published on the front page of Thai Rath on April 14, 2009, issue, and was wrongly captioned as:

‘Intolerable: after the red-shirt mob resorted to the tactic of parking a gas truck near the Din Daeng tunnel to ignite it, residents of the Din Daeng flats were enraged and gathered to clash with the mob.’

Later, on April 16, on web-boards including Pantip’s Ratchadamnern (thread no. P7756828) and Prachatai (thread no. 796863) posters examined the incident and found that the incident took place around Soi 12 of Ratchaprarob Road, quite far from the scene as described by the newspaper and other media outlets.

It was also found that the man wearing the green t-shirt who pulled the hair of the woman was Kaweekrai Chokepatthanakasemsuk, 30, former guard of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, not a Din Daeng resident as was insinuated in Thai Rath’s report.

And on April 24, PAD-associated ASTV news anchor Anchalee Phaireerak interviewed Kaweekrai by phone about the incident.

Matichon also reported Kaweekrai’s message posted on his Hi5 which says, ‘I don’t take pity on myself for the condemnation people have for me as I deserve it. But I admit that I don’t feel sorry for the woman.’ Kaweekrai claimed to have inquired at Phya Thai Police Station whether Mintra had filed any complaint, and if so, he would turn himself to the police immediately.

Somsak Jeamtheerasakul, lecturer and political critic at Thammasat University, wrote on Prachatai and Same Sky web-boards in protest of the MPA’s judgment. He noted that the Thai Rath photo was retouched: Kaweekrai’s camera and camera bag were deleted from the picture.

Captured frame from a video clip

He said the photo and its incorrect caption misled the public into understanding that the man was one of the residents who were resentful of the red shirts’ gas truck incident or other actions during that time, and came out to handle the ‘mob’ themselves.

It was later found out that the man was a hardcore PAD fanatic who had long been against the red shirts regardless of whatever they might do on April 13, he wrote.

The man himself even wrote on his Hi5 which has already been closed that he had even sniped at the red-shirt rallies without any provocation:

‘I have done a lot more to you folks than what you’ve seen when I pulled the ‘grass’ on the woman’s head, but it just has not made the news, like when you gathered at the national stadium, I sniped at you people when you were on your way home. I regret that I missed the targets. I always have future plans. I think I alone can make a lot of trouble for many of you.’

Mass media photographs are part of the reportage of the facts, as are the titles and captions. This photo, therefore, does not convey the facts, but a misrepresentation and a falsehood, Somsak argued.


In his already removed Hi5, Kaweekrai wrote that (apart from what Somsak has quoted):

‘I dare you [red shirts] to find me to take revenge for that woman. […] Damn! I feel overjoyed to see that the woman, instead of getting sympathy from society, was exploited by the opposition, and was despised, instead of me alone. Stupid woman! 555.’

Khao Sod reported that on April 23, Phuea Thai MPs brought the red-shirt woman Mintra Soros to a press conference at Parliament House. Mintra was asked whether she had spit in the man’s face. When she denied that, some reporters insisted that there were witnesses and photographic evidence showing that Mintra had spit in his face first.

The newspaper noted that during the press conference Mintra’s face did not appear downcast, showing no sign of having been overwhelmed by the attack; rather, she responded eloquently to the reporters’ questions. She also had chewing gum in her mouth and avoided all eye contact with the reporters.

According to Khao Sod, the press conference went on with some verbal hassles between the MPs accusing the reporters of being partial and the latter accusing the former of distorting the facts.

When photos and video clips of the incident first came out, it was widely speculated that the man was a soldier in plain clothes, or a reporter, thanks to his appearance. (That may explain why Thai Rath’s photo was retouched: to make him look like an ordinary ‘resentful’ civilian resident. – Prachatai)

Kaweekrai has created a new Hi5 account atกวีไกร--html.

At some pro-PAD websites such as, for example, Thaksin Get Out and Manager blog service, Kaweekrai has been cheered for his action. He wrote at Thaksin Get Out that he apologized for the public perception that he was involved with the PAD. He has tried to delete his photos taken at PAD rallies from the internet, and asks others to help delete them, in order to prevent the red shirts from making use of them.

The reaction of the religious

The reaction of the religious thugs in Iran to the popular uprising in response to their stolen election there is an interesting parallel to the reaction of the PAD to their putsch here in Thailand.

It demonstrates that those in power without popular support act in the same ways the world around, no matter their outward protestations of "faith" in religion, the nation, the King, what have you.

The only thing that counts to them is power and hanging on to it.

Let's hope that both the Iranian and the Thai people are successful in their respective face offs against those who have seized power in each country and are trying so hard not to relinquish it.

If they are successful it may spread to other countries in the world. Who knows? Maybe even we Americans will be shamed into standing up, wresting power from the cliques to whom we have given it, and taking responsibility for and charge of our wild, aggressive, war-mad, bankrupt nation.

Finally there is some

Finally there is some discussion about that shameful incident. A shame for Thailand that many times the whole thing has been presented on TV just showing the first part of the scene, when the women were verbally abusing the guy with the camera, but hardly showed when he pulled one of the women by the hair. Even Voranai's article where he mentioned about the incident only talked about the verbal abuse and there was no mention about the hair-pulling. Shame on him. I am not trying to defend the two women, but just want to say that a country who doesn't solemnly and chorally condemn such a vile act is a doomed country, with not many real values left. The law of the jungle, indeed, like Sukhumbhand once said in an interesting interview to a German magazine.

The fact that a major Thai

The fact that a major Thai "news" medium routinely collaborates with those in power to the extent of falsifying published photos, printing false statements of "fact", and actively concealing the real identities of the "actors" in question ought to convince anyone interested that the media is nothing but a tool of those in power in Thailand.

The second observation is the asymmetry between the authorities crackdown on perceived cases of "lese majeste" while ignoring this thug's boasts of shooting people, and his threats to do more of the same in future. Surely he is in the employ of the ISOC or some similar organization to enjoy such immunity.

One can only conclude that this man and the media are suborned by the government. Which argues that it is the Thai government that presents the most danger to the Thai people.

Media as a tool for those in

Media as a tool for those in power - wow, what a novel concept:)

I still think my Jerry Springer clip is a relevant analogy
(Idiots behaving badly:)

Alex, JFL Another point

Alex, JFL

Another point missed, the incident did take place in a broad daylight, in front of a massive crowd, officials, policemen, militarymen, reporters, "Thai mung" etc. How on earth, no one showed any attempt to intervene the assualt, not even verbally! Were they too yellow to stand up, or simply "none of my business", or worst of all, did they felt the victim really deserved it? If people think it's OK to counterattack anyone with violence, just because of different political stance/ideas, this very society is doomed. No matter what the victim did, no one held the right to violently counterattack her except the authorized officers who strictly adhere to the code of conduct (I wonder if there's still any who will )

For those who are able to follow the Thai version of the same thread, will find ithe ments there a totally different world!

When looking on the first

When looking on the first picture of the article it becomes obvious that this has been staged for the press. How is it possible that, within an upset crowd, there are so many passer bys with very expensive cameras, keeping some space in front for things to happen ? And the published picture gets cropped in a way that no other camera is
visible ? Why is it just this picture getting published, not those from the other people's cameras ? Or are they too bad (which implies that all the other photographers, which appear to be professional, don't know their job) ?

This picture and it's story are just made up to cause reactions (other people call it propaganda).

I'm thankful to the one who

I'm thankful to the one who wrote this passage. I always read and write this style of articles. youtube Also, as a daily writer, I present my respects to the all writers. Lately, I have watched a video resembling that in facebook. I research in all areas.

In my opinion, people should research first and write then.


More observations on the

More observations on the similarity between the reactions of the Iranian regime and the Thai regime when confronted by the people.

Evidence of Iran Discontent
Eric* also adds a critical distinction: the disquiet he senses is not so much a blanket referendum against the system, but for reform from within it, and that's the hope they saw in candidate Musavi, even as he indeed is one of the elite. Yet within that political elite, a profound division has erupted., as Eric well summarizes it,

"over how Iran should be governed: a transparent democracy where elected representatives enact laws to benefit the people or a ‘guided democracy’ in which a select few make all decisions because they do not trust the masses to make the right ones."

*Professor [Eric] Hooglund (now of Bates College) is an authority on the subject, having lived in and frequently traveled to rural Iran for nearly four decades. He literally witnessed Iran's revolution unfold, as he was there working on a dissertation later published as Land and Revolution in Iran. Earlier this year, he wrote a splendid review of 30 years of post-revolutionary rural development achievements and problems for Middle East Report. He was again in Iran recently, and I know of no one with a broader network across Iran's diverse rural landscapes.

Iran, Burma, Thailand... wherever an unelected (and unelectable) "elite" hold power they resort to similar, nay identical, tactics to maintain it when confronted by the people. There is surely a quantitative difference in degree between the cited three, but qualitatively they are indistinguishable.

Check out the picture from Esfahon, Iran. That's people power. The fact that we're all able to see it in direct defiance of the orders of the Iranian ISOC and MICT is testament to the futility of opposing the people. The people, united, can never be defeated.

Also noted a wry, sad, and richly deserved comment on the (non-)working state of democracy elsewhere.

Thanks Dr J for the link to

Thanks Dr J for the link to this article. I agree with u and Alex and will look up the Thai version of this article soon.
PS, Hobby I initially agreed with u but when I read Dr J and Alex' comments, i have to say ... Like Alex, I'm not gonna defend the women';s verbal aggressiveness but it's totally tragic that so many Thai people just couldn;t care less if someone who holds different political stance was physically attacked this way. i have an impression that a lot of thai people tend to take side with the male attacker and that;s just so wrong.

Joy: When I said 'Idiots

Joy: When I said 'Idiots behaving badly' please note the plural form of my use of the idiot word - IMO it applies to the male, and the female actors in this saga.

well..:-) Point taken Hobby,

well..:-) Point taken Hobby, but still 'idiots' perhaps sounds a bit like an 'umbrella term"(if there is such a thing as 'umbrella term")

I would be interested how

I would be interested how many on the Thai version of this thread have a similar viewpoint to me?
(is there a Thai version of the Jerry Springer show?:)

Hobby Far as I can skim


Far as I can skim through the comments in Thai version, there's none that come close to that sense of yours. Most of the comments there, condemn on how this photo get the award. Many of them think the brutality captured in this picture didn't deserve any praise nor awards. On the contrary, I think it's the other way around. This photo did represent the most important event of the year. It told everything about the bloody April in just one picture. No captions nor explanations needed.

As you said, 'Idiots behaving badly' . then Thailand is a place where a bunch of idiots flock together ( and fight each other every now and then )

Thanks Doctor J. The whole

Thanks Doctor J.
The whole thing is bizarre, from the poor behaviour by the participants at the scene including apparently the bystanders & authorities, to the the media altering the photo and providing a misleading caption, to the doctored photo being awarded best photo!!!

I find the all round wierd behaviour very worthy of the T.I.T. tag.
PS Sorry Joy for being so judgemental & mocking:)

Couldn't agree more with your

Couldn't agree more with your tag.

This is Thailand indeed! under their Buddhist guises, all hells break loose!

Thailand has its own problems

Thailand has its own problems and so are other countries. Criticizing Thailand is fine but mocking and making fun of Thailand is not. I think none of u here are Thai. How would u feel if people mock yr country and the 'whole ' population this way???
I welcome criticisms but not mocking bec it carries the air of superiority,esp if it's from westerners or those from rich countries who always (whether conciously or not) enjoy making fun of poor countries.

Joy I didn't make a


I didn't make a stereotypical attack nor mockery on all Thais. My comment included the mass media photographers association and the parties involved in the award judgement, media involved 'Thai Rath', all parties presented at the scene, all parties agreed and praised the bogus process, and all those who agreed with the violence inflicted upon the victim, all those who agreed with violent line of thought. There will be some Thais including Joy yourself spared.

These people of which I presumed are mostly Buddhists( statistically ), did violate the basic forbiddens. Firstly they inflicted assualt attack against others, or approve the assualt. Secondly, they cheated and lied to others barefacedly. Not to mention the ignoring of practicing Kalama sutta( which seems to be indispensable nowadays ). I think some farangs enthusiasts are far more better Buddhists. To be honest, Buddhism is deemed critical in Thailand, Burma, Srilanka than anywhere else in the world.

If my comments seem harsh, those in Thai version might be 'unacceptable'. And I don't think most of comments here are meant to be mocking nor make fun of this poor country. It depends on how you view these comments, IMO, they didn't sound like that.

BTW, Harrison George's article 'One picture is worth a thousand lies' is the best arguement I ever come across, concerning this topic ( and it's not cynical this time as he usually is : )

There are many forms of

There are many forms of Buddhism in Thailand. Establishment Buddhism might be dominant but there were/are people like Buddhadasa.It's not really fair to say that Thai Buddhism is fake and have no moral value.

Comments on Thai thread do

Comments on Thai thread do not necessarily reflect the view of ordinary, thinking Thais. People don't have that much time to post although they might have lots of insights to offer. Prachatai Thai has always been dominated by radicals anyway.
There are a lot of Thais who are sensible but they just don;t want to show their opinions.
If u want to criticize Thailand, please do so in a way that shows some respect. Thailand is by no means perfect and criticisms will do a lot of good and u don 't need to hurt the feeling of ordinary Thais simply to get yr points across.

what's that 'sense' you see

what's that 'sense' you see in Hobby? How much do u know him? Perhaps he is just enjoying mocking Thailand? It's so easy to mock and make fun of others. Why don';t u guys just stick to serious comments without having to praise those who mock??????I know I won't be welcome here anymore after all i have posted tonight. i just can';t stand the way serious commentators turn into ...well.. chorus
Enjoy posting!

I'm so sorry for such

I'm so sorry for such defensively stupid comments i have posted.

Joy: I'm sorry, but mocking

Joy: I'm sorry, but mocking and cynicism is all I've got left to give regarding discussions on Thailand - anything else causes me too much heartbreak!

You don't have to apologize.

You don't have to apologize. it's me who have to apologize (to u and Dr J). I admit I can';t always be sensible and rational (mostly I'm irrational and defensive , anyway).
And U are right, I'm no longer neutral....

Beijing cautions US over

Beijing cautions US over Iran
China anticipated the backlash against Ahmadinejad's victory. On Monday, The Global Times newspaper quoted the former Chinese ambassador to Iran, Hua Liming, that the Iranian situation would get back to normalcy only if a negotiated agreement was reached among the "major centers of political power ... But, if not, the recent turmoil in Thailand will possibly be repeated". It is quite revealing that the veteran Chinese diplomat drew a parallel with Thailand...

Thursday's China Daily editorial is broadly in the nature of an appeal to the Obama administration not to spoil its new Middle East policy, which is shaping well, through impetuous actions. Significantly, the editorial upheld the authenticity of Ahmadinejad's election victory: "Win and loss are two sides of an election coin. Some candidates are less inclined to accept defeat..."

The editorial warns: "Attempts to push the so-called color revolution toward chaos will prove very dangerous. A destabilized Iran is in nobody's interest if we want to maintain peace and stability in the Middle East, and the world beyond."

If Rafsanjani's putsch succeeds, Iran would at best bear resemblance to a decadent outpost of the "pro-West" Persian Gulf. Would a dubious regime be durable?

So, M K Bhadrakumar in Sonthi's rag, Asia Times Online has the Chinese drawing a parallel between Iran and Thailand... then turning it upside down!

In Iran a putsch was thrown to steal an election from the popularly elected leader. In Thailand a popularly elected leader was overthrown by a putsch.

Internationally the two would-be global hegemons are both backing the regimes in power in both Iran and in Thailand, in the interest of "stability". Stability always suits the interests of the global hegemon which wants a steady flow of raw materials and markets for its goods, and the populace be damned.

I hope that both the Iranian and Thai peoples successfully wrest control of their futures from the un-elected regimes in each country, and the hegemons be damned.

Dr J; I'm sorry! I haven't

Dr J; I'm sorry! I haven't seen yr comment till now!! I think i know what u mean and last night i was deliberately misreading yr posts out of my own malicious intention> I just feel jealous of HOBBY because everyone agrees with him!

No need to apologize, Joy. I

No need to apologize, Joy. I just try to elaborate my opinions. I think most of participants here are open to different ideas ( you included, of course : ) )

But here is the original article in Matichon website regarding the green shirt guy. The most unbearable part is the comments in this article. Take a look for yourself, and see how prejudice can mar one's righteousness to the extent of a beast.

BTW, I always value your opinions, even the one with bits of sentiment : )

Not everyone agrees with

Not everyone agrees with me!
(in fact my viewpoint is usually a minority view in most Thai forums/blogs I visit)

Here's something else that people will not agree with me on:
- I dont think Ahmadinejad lost the Iranian election!

By that I mean I dont think he got less votes than the opposition, although I accept the possibility that the victory may not have been as large as was announced.
IMO the west is spinning the story for its own purposes.

I was aware that the US

I was aware that the US regime had spent a lot of cash on the election, trying once again to cause trouble and to defeat democracy in Iran, but I discounted it, thinking that it was coincident with but separate from public opinion in Iran.

But now I tend to agree with you Hobby. As real information does get out on the extent of the oxymoronic National Endowment for Democracy's role in the election, the US Congress authorized $400,000,000 (!) for its operations in Iran, as well as on the actual conditions in Iran itself prior to the election, a western poll had the results right where they came out, I am becoming more and more convinced that I was wrong to have seen the pictures of large crowds and thus to assume that the election was fraudulent.

It now seems to me that the large crowds mobilized in Iran correspond roughly to the PAD here in Thailand. Their primary concern is the distribution of the nation's wealth. They have it and want to keep it, just as the military-bureaucratic-elite complex here in Thailand do.

Ahmadinejad appears to be the favorite of the majority who would like to see things change. Whether or not they get any more change from Ahmadinejad than the people in Thailand got from Thaksin remains to be seen, but they seem to have carried the day. Some change is better than no change, or change seems precluded in one direction but to remain a possibility, however slight in another.

I support the majority. It's not as easy to tell what's going on in Iran from the outside as it is here in Thailand from the inside.

No one can approve of the Savak's, or Iranian ISOC's, murder of civilians in any case.

What Actually Happened in the Iranian Presidential Election?

The Fog Machine

The U.S. Regime-Change Recipe for Iran

Dr J, thanks for the link but

Dr J, thanks for the link but it seems access to that original article is now blocked!!!!

What if a yellow shirt woman

What if a yellow shirt woman were treated similarly in a similar situation ? The police would have quickly arrested the man and meted severe punishment. The man has now been identified and he is still roaming free. No wonder the reds are seething with anger throughout the country. Well, just wait for the 24th to see their appearance.

Good point ,' Curious". From

Good point ,' Curious".
From where I am, what is pretty clear to me is that the Yellow shirts are often accorded with status, refinement, high education, patrotism, morals and authority while the Reds are largely seen as Thaksin;s followers (and thus greedy, immoral, easily manipulated) I know most red shirts people will disagree with me, but once most of them drop Thaksin or at least simply see him as a human being (NOT saviour) with both flaws and strengths(obviously more flaws than strengths), their support/ justification for their cause will be much stronger. The Red shirts also need to be less physically and verbally aggressive and I guess they should focus more on (like DrJ always emphasizes) critical thinking. My sympathy lies with them although I will not be part of their movement if they still highlight Thaksin, try to whitewash him, and show no desire to question some of their leaders' propaganda or hidden agenda.

I have a humble advice to Mr

I have a humble advice to Mr Thaksin. I know he is still very rich and he';s obviously a very intelligent person,. Perhaps he can just continue to financially support Thai people to have better education( i mean real education that promotes critical thinking, and the ability to see through propaganda), promote civic virtures, acceptance of difference and genuine concern for the human rights issues while at the same time he should keep a low profile and stay away from any sort of political manipulation that will help return power to himself and his family. perhaps he should study Buddhada's teachings although it's not important whether he can achieve enlightenment or not.

I dont think Thaksin takes

I dont think Thaksin takes any advice from anyone (including those who whisper in his ear:)

From today's Bangkok Post:

"Mr Thaksin said the current economic recession is not as critical as the 1997 economic crisis when he was in office. He expressed confidence that if he could return home and became the premier, he would be able to settle it. The ex-premier stated that the double standards practiced by the Democrat-led administration had resulted in increasing in number of the anti-government red-shirt people".

The same old Thaksin - always prepared to claim credit for himself and not give any to the previous administration, and of course never prepared to admit blame or failings on his behalf.

If the Bangkok Post report is accurate, at least it will make a few happy that Thaksin is still up for a fight and will be the focus of some of the attention (divide & conquer), and also make it easy for those judgemental mocker types to get in some free kicks against the reds:)

I quote :"...and also make it

I quote :"...and also make it easy for those judgemental mocker types to get in some free kicks against the reds:)"

555and now u are mocking yrself, aren't u?:-P

If this is the best picture

If this is the best picture than the jury was drunk. It looks like the mess my daughter makes when she holds a camera and she is 2.
In that case they should have opted for the shameless picture of two idiots shooting with sharp on passersby under a portrait of the king. That shows the real class of the yellow shirts. Who will get the award by the way?
The picture takes (A child of 3 years old I assume), the guard (presented by the biggest idiot of all Kasit) or the abused lady?
Just wondering...