This wave of repression is the clearest indication that the conflict on the Thai-Cambodian border is now linked to Thailand’s domestic problems. Attacking and repressing your own population as you go to war with another country is hardly the action of a regime that is seeking to bring the nation together to tackle a common, external threat.
While reports are sketchy it is certain that the vast network of Red Shirt radio stations are now being raided across Thailand. Sources, such as Human Rights Watch’s representative in Thailand, are saying that these raids have been carried out across Bangkok, the capital’s neighbouring provinces and Chiang Mai where, it is claimed, that the entire Red Shirt radio signal has been shut down. Some sources have stated that these raids have also involved the US-backed Thai Army but this cannot be confirmed at present.
A copy of the warrants used to search the radio stations has also emerged (please see a copyhere) and it states that “equipment can be seized if unlawful activity has occurred” (excuse my poor translation).
It is now almost certain that several Red Shirt radio stations have been completely closed down and had their equipment seized. Our sources are stating that this could number up to 10 but there is no confirmation of that at the moment.
Reports have also come in from our own eyewitness at Pathum Thani that Red Shirts there were attempting to resist the raids although nothing more than pushing and angry arguments seems to have occurred. The same source has also said that members of the Thai police were very reluctant to carry out their orders. Plainclothes Thai security officials also seemed to be in control of many of the raids – it is not known which branch of the Thai authorities these plainclothes officials represented.