On 27 June, Army spokesperson Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd held a press conference at the Royal Thai Army Headquarters in response to media reports concerning an article written by an army officer about the crackdown on the red shirts in April and May last year.
The article, entitled ‘Lessons from Operation Encirclement at Ratchaprasong 14-19 May 2010’ and written under the pen name ‘Huana [Chief] Kuang’, appears in the Army Training Command’s Senathipat Journal, Vol 59, Issue 3, September–December 2010.
Col Sansern said that the information presented in the article was correct according to true information, but there were some inaccuracies.
The journal is produced to disseminate knowledge and distributed among members including graduates of the Command and General Staff College. It is also sold in book shops at a price of 80 baht, the colonel said.
He said that the content of the article was the perspective of the author who was a teacher at the Army Training Command. It is the author’s view and analysis, and has nothing to do with the army. An inside page of the journal reads ‘the contents are personal views, and have no binding on the army’. Therefore, he said, this article was considered the perspective of an academic.
However, there were issues that needed to be understood regarding snipers. As the Army has already explained, Col Sansern said, operating troops who were in charge of protection are different from snipers, because snipers have to be deployed in covert places and are tasked with shooting targets as assigned. But the ‘protective troops’ under the command of the Centre for the Resolution of Emergency Situation were not deployed in covert places, and they were visible. These troops included gunners and patrols guarding their areas to prevent anyone from using war weapons to hurt innocent people and troops. The tasks of these troops and snipers are very different.
So, the article was written from the perspective of the author who was probably not present in the field, and the Senathipat Journal is for public consumption, not a secret document, Col Sansern said.