Although the doctored audio clip featuring Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva purportedly order a violent crackdown on the red-shirt protesters in April has been proven fake by various agencies including the Royal Thai Police, the Department of Forensic Investigation, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, the Democratic Alliance against Dictatorship is adamant that the clip was real and intended to create disorder.
A key leader of the Democratic Alliance against Dictatorship and Pheu Thai Party MP, Jatuporn Phromphan, demanded that the full audio recording of the meeting at the 1st Infantry Division on April 12, in which the prime minister allegedly gave such instructions for violence, be publicized. He also claimed that the altered clip is an abridged version and was released by the a source within the armed forces.
The claims by the red-shirt leader are considered outrageous and if they were true, an extensive investigation would have to be launched. On the other hand, if the claims were false, Jatuporn would have to be held responsible.
The claims were made despite the fact that the army chief, General Anuphong Paojinda, and the commander of the 1st Army Region, Kanit Sapitak, had affirmed that the premier never gave such an order. In contrast, the two said that the prime minister advised that security officers to employ restraint and take a non-violent approach in bringing the situation back to normal.
Therefore, Jatuporn’s move could be political ploy with an intention to wreak havoc and infuse the public with suspicions in the government and the armed forces, which would worsen the current political uncertainty.
Jatuporn must take responsibility by presenting evidence to support his claim. Otherwise, he and other red-shirt supporters will be subjected to harsh criticisms and condemns. They would be seen as liars who make up stories just to ruin the country for one person.
Original analysis from Naew Na newspaper, published on Aug 31 pg. 3
Translated by: Wacharapol Isaranont
Pheu Thai Claims Controversial Clip Undoctored
The ruling Democrat Party has asked the opposition Pheu Thai Party to bring forth the audio clip it claimed to be the original recording of the prime minister actually ordering a violent crackdown on the April’s anti-government protests.
Chief MP of the Pheu Thai Party, Chalerm Yoobumrung, claimed the audio clip of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva ordering a crackdown on red-shirt protesters in April is authentic and was recorded by someone in the government to blackmail the premier.
Chalerm suggested some of Abhisit’s remarks in the clip were put into action and the circulation was made amidst conflicts between the prime minister and people in charge of security affairs.
He also said he will grill the premier over the matter in the House meeting on Thursday.
Meanwhile, personal spokesman for the Democrat leader, Thepthai Senpong, presented documents detailing speeches by the prime minister during his weekly TV program to back the theory that the audio clip was doctored and thus counter Chalerm’s claim.
Thepthai also urged Pheu Thai to bring forth the clip it claimed to be the original one. The opposition party claimed to have in its possession an authentic audio clip showing the prime minister issuing an order to use violence. Thepthai said the party must take legal responsibility if its version was also proven false.
Regarding the postponement of the major red-shirt rally, Thepthai said the decision was a tactic to dominate news headlines, but the planned September 19 demonstration on the occasion of the third anniversary of the 2006 military coup should be closely monitored
The spokesman claimed that ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is behind the red-shirt protesters and his movement will become more active in the provinces. He reiterated the government has no policy to use a third party to instigate unrest since it will not benefit from such a move.
Meanwhile, red-shirt core leader Jatuporn Prompan said his group is ready to postpone a planned rally if the government continues to enforce the security act, but its schedule on September 19 will not be changed as it is the third anniversary of the military coup.
He also insisted the group will not occupy Government House or Parliament as claimed by the deputy prime minister in charge of national security.
The red-shirt leader also called on the prime minister to show evidence to back up his claim that the audio clip was doctored. Jatuporn said he believes it was recorded during a meeting on the April protests, but some parts needed to be edited to protect others involved in the crackdown.