Thursday, May 20, 2010

Did Arisman lay plans to burn Bangkok, or just call for it?

As the destruction of May 19 was occurring, I wondered whether the red shirts had had a plan to burn down Bangkok.  "We need answers," I tweeted.

, commenting on the above video, tweeted, "Listen to them cheering half way through."

Pointing to this Facebook page, Beejoir also tweets, "Arisman calling for violence and burning."   The facebook page is a petition calling on the BBC to broadcast a video.

Here is the video.  It depicts Arisman (Arisaman) Pongruangrong giving a speech. The video is dated March 17, 2010.  The red leader anticipates the destruction of Bangkok ("I guarantee you Bangkok will immediately be turned into flame") and calls for people to rise up and the burn town halls and cities across Thailand ("If anything happen, no need to negotiate, gather at your provincial office burn your city as well").   Of course, that's exactly what happened on May 19.

The English-captioned version of the video has only been viewed about 600 times.

You may recall Arisman Pongruangrong. Also a popular singer, Arisman is the red shirt leader who, several weeks ago, managed a spectacular escape by a rope from the window of a hotel as Thai military forces laid siege to it.

Where is Arisman now?  The NY Times reports that he may have been captured:
Thai news outlets reported that one of the more militant protest leaders, Arisman Pongruengrong, who is also a popular singer, fled the protest zone in disguise.... He was captured Wednesday evening by the police and taken to a military base outside Bangkok.
According to the Washington Post, red shirt spokesman Sean Boonprasong confirms that Arisman has been captured.


  1. AnonymousMay 20, 2010

    It will get worse. If Thailand continues to treat the majority of its citizens with contempt, they can expect that they will turn to terrorism. Thailand will have to deal with Muslims in the South and Red Shirts throughout the North and Northeast. The best they can hope for is low level terrorism/insurgency like the Basque separatists in Spain and at worse, it will be Lebanese-style civil war. Like Beirut, Bangkok will likely lie in ruins before this is all over and the monarchy will not survive.

  2. Here's Nattawut telling reds to burn Bangkok if they want, and, more importantly, he says he'll take full responsibility.

  3. Since the first pics of March about the red guards, i was sure they were no pacifist at all, and when assault at parliament took place, I considered the quest for democracy of that leadership just a fake. If you believe in democracy, parliament is a symbol that nobody can destroy or assault. And we now know the extent at which such Taksin can go, specially when he talks about guerrilla. And we also know at what extent the state's violence can go too. I don't know if Thailand has ever had a politician like Noynoy Aquino or Corazon Aquino, but it would be in bad need really.

  4. I have no answer to the question.

    But, I was tweeting as far back as 11th May that I thought that arresting the (Moderate) Leaders could make the situation considerably worse.

    In the end, thousands of frustrated and passionate people were left with no one to at least try to control their emotions.

    The outcome was horrific, whether planned or not is immaterial.

    It is obvious that no one in authority seriously thought through
    the end plan.

    Now Bangkok is in mourning for its buildings. As for the loss of life, the authorities seem to be happy, as they had predicted more.


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