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05BANGKOK3145 NATIONAL RECONCILIATION COMMISSION RELEASES FULL REPORTS FROM TAK BAI AND KRUE SE INCIDENTS

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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 003145

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/BCLTV, USPACOM FOR FPA HUSO

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PHUM TH HUMAN RIGHTS NRC

SUBJECT: NATIONAL RECONCILIATION COMMISSION RELEASES FULL

REPORTS FROM TAK BAI AND KRUE SE INCIDENTS

 

REF: A) 04 BANGKOK 5360 B) BANGKOK 687 C) 04 BANGKOK

 

3111 D) 04 BANGKOK 2941

 

¶1. (U) SUMMARY: The National Reconciliation Commission

(NRC) recently released the complete texts of reports

authored by two government-authorized “Independent

Commissions” which investigated separate high casualty

incidents in 2004 in southern Thailand involving Thai

security forces. In April 2004, 32 armed insurgents were

killed at the Krue Se Mosque and 85 demonstrators were killed

at the Tak Bai Police Station in October 2004. No startling

new facts were revealed about either event. However, the

full reports do provide more details about the shooting of 7

of 85 demonstrators killed at Tak Bai and actions of military

commanders shortly after the crackdown began. Muslim leaders

generally reacted positively to the NRC’s release of the

reports but again voiced concern that promised compensation

to families of those killed has not been dispersed. The NRC

met again on May 9 to set up sub-committees to pursue

specific goals more systematically. END SUMMARY.

 

ONE YEAR LATER: THE (IN)-COMPLETE STORY OF APRIL 28, 2004 AND

KRUE SE MOSQUE

 

¶2. (SBU) After completing a three-day fact-finding trip in

Narathiwat Province on April 20, the 48-member NRC released

the complete texts of the reports from separate Independent

Commissions (authorized by the Thai government) on the

controversial Tak Bai and Krue Se Mosque incidents. During

the fact-finding trip, NRC members had been urged to release

these reports by religious leaders and families of victims

from the violence in the South, many of whom argued that

doing so would clear the air significantly. The NRC also

consulted with police and military officials in the South

(and perhaps the issue was discussed privately with the Prime

Minister). The Thai media aired the debate over the value of

releasing the full texts. On April 20, after a closed

session meeting of the NRC, Chairman and former Prime

Minister Anand Panyarachun appeared at a press conference and

provided copies of the 52-page Tak Bai report and the 38-page

Krue Se report to the media. “We insist on transparency,” he

said. English versions of the reports can be found on the

Internet site of The Nation newspaper at:

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/specials/takb ai.

 

¶3. (U) The Krue Se report covers only one of several violent

incidents that occurred in three different provinces on April

28, 2004. As noted in the report, “Some 100 militants staged

simultaneous assaults on seven targets in Yala, three in

Pattani, and one in Songkhla.” The full report provides

details about the weapons used by the militants and security

forces, names of persons involved on both sides and a

detailed timeline. This is in contrast to the four-page

summary report released on August 4, 2004 by the RTG. The

authors of the full report state that autopsies were not

performed on the bodies of the 31 militants killed by Thai

Special Forces at Krue Se Mosque. However, samples of body

fluids were taken and later tests concluded that no narcotics

or other “illegal substances” were present. (Note: This

appears to contradict an official RTG statement of April 29,

2004 stating, “the perpetrators were under the influence of

drugs and were instigated to resort to violence. It was

disclosed that those arrested were subject to urine test

(sic) and found to have taken drugs.” See Reftel C. End

Note.) The full report criticizes General Panlop Pinmanee,

Deputy Director of the Internal Security Operations Command

(ISOC), who ordered the raid on the Mosque, as well as

then-4th Army Commander General Pisan Wattanawongkhiri, for

failing to negotiate with the insurgents. “In their

negotiations with the militants, anti-riot forces conducted

no talks, but simply announced a series of warnings to

encourage surrender.”

 

SOME TAK BAI DEMONSTRATORS SHOT FROM A DISTANCE

 

¶4. (SBU) In contrast to the Krue Se report, the full Tak Bai

report is much more detailed and offers more specific

accounts and recommendations (Ref B). The full report

reveals that after examining the bodies of the demonstrators,

forensic scientist Dr. Pornthip Rojanasunan concluded that,

“it was clear the victims (at the Tak Bai police station)

died of gunshot wounds caused by bullet shot from distance

(sic).” Another part of the report reveals that Queen

Sirikit summoned General Pisan to an audience at Narathiwat

Palace at 12 midnight on October 26. The report notes that

Gen. Pisan, the 4th Army Commander, also met with PM Thaksin

at a hotel in Narathiwat the same night. Among the

recommendations not previously revealed is the suggestion

that the RTG produce radio and TV programs in the Malayu

(Yawi dialect) language to create understanding between the

local populace and the government. The report also suggests

that the RTG “avoid the implementation” of martial law and

employ “the Emergency Administration Emergency Situation Act

B.E. 2495 (1953),” which provides for some civilian control

over the military.

 

MUSLIM REACTION: RTG GETTING BETTER, BUT WHERE’S THE MONEY?

 

¶5. (U) Muslim leaders welcomed the release of the reports.

Some Embassy contacts from the Islamic Committees of Pattani

and Yala complained that the reports were not released in

Yawi and therefore many Thai Muslims, particularly older

religious and community leaders, still did not have full

access to them. Media reports quoted families of those

killed on April 28 as stating that they have not yet received

20,000 baht ($512) in compensation promised to them by the

RTG last year. The families of the young members of the Ban

Suso soccer team in Saba Yoi, Songkhla are among those with

this complaint. One reported eyewitness of events at Saba

Yoi was quoted in The Nation newspaper as saying, “Of the 19

dead bodies we found at the scene, 14, including my younger

brother Kamaridin, were shot in the head.” The policy of

providing compensation for the families of those killed by

security forces on April 28 is controversial among military

commanders. (Note: Five Thai security forces were killed and

21 injured in the affected areas on April 28. See Reftel D.

End Note.)

 

NRC CREATES SUBCOMMITTEES

 

¶6. (U) On May 9, the NRC held its third full, formal meeting

at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Bangkok. The

one-day meeting followed a weekend trip by Chairman Anand to

Narathiwat to meet with victims from the Tak Bai incident and

some of the families of those killed in Saba Yoi, Songkhla on

April 28, 2004. At this meeting, the NRC decided to set up

five subcommittees charged with responsibilities as follows:

1) Promote Justice and Human Rights, to be chaired by Deputy

Prime Minster Chaturon Chaisaeng; 2) Solve Conflict through

Peaceful Means, to be chaired by Phra Paisarn Wisaro, a

well-know Buddhist monk; 3) Study the Development of Human

Security, to be chaired by Amnar Siamwalla; 4) Promote

Cultural Diversity in Thailand, to be chaired by Prawes Wasi,

a leading public intellectual and social activist; and, 5)

Promote Local Harmony and Cooperation, to be chaired by

General Narong Denudom, a Muslim former 4th Army Commander.

It was also announced that PM Thaksin would recommend for

cabinet approval on May 10, a resolution to drop pending

criminal charges against 58 Tak Bai demonstrators. The NRC

will next meet in Narathiat on May 20.

 

¶7. (SBU) Comment: The NRC under Anand’s leadership has taken

a bold first step by releasing the full reports. This move

is responsive to calls from human rights NGOs and the Muslim

community for a more open process in its investigation of two

of the most important cases of claimed human rights

violations committed against Thai Muslims in the last year.

To his credit, PM Thaksin has not objected to the release of

these controversial documents, although his administration

had earlier explicitly refused to do so. Significantly, the

first year anniversary of the events of April 28 passed

without any major violence or separatist attacks. End

Comment.

BOYCE

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Written by thaicables

August 28, 2011 at 6:10 am

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