“Unfortunately, some people died.” — Abhisit Vejjajiva

And unfortunately some people died.

ดูแปลไทยที่ https://prachatai.com/journal/2012/12/44161 (ประชาไท, 10 ธ.ค. 2555) — พร้อมลิงก์ไปยังข่าวและคดีที่ถูกอ้างถึงในสัมภาษณ์

English transcript (source: Rush transcript of the 10 Dec 2012 Abhisit’s interview with BBC World News, Prachatai Facebook page, 10 Dec 2012)

IMO, the most comprehensive investigation is the one by People’s Information Center (The April-May 2010 Crackdown): PIC (ศูนย์ข้อมูลประชาชนผู้ได้รับผลกระทบจากการสลายการชุมนุม กรณี เม.ย.-พ.ค. 53 (ศปช.)). You can find the full report, stats, infographics, and maps from the site.


Abhisit: Everybody knows what happened, and we are the ones that said that the judicial process has to run its course so that they were inquest into the death of the protesters and stand (you know) people who were there and uh…the has to be the accountability

BBC: And that includes you because you were the presence in the house when 90 people died in the protest

Abhisit: Of course we set up an independent commission in terms of fact finding and at the same time the police…and the law enforcing organizations would have to get to work but the charges that are charge placing against me from so many people seem very far-fetched …

BBC: Why very far-fetched? You were the person in power use of force in tearing down the protest camp.

Abhisit: But if you recall we had a situation basically a group of people occupy the middle of city and also had armed people, infused within the protest. They were actually firing grenade, firing at people. We didn’t even go in to disperse the protest. what we did was set up the check points .These check points were attacked. And there were fighting on the street and unfortunately some people died.

BBC: Well and almost everyone who died was by the hands of the military gunfire

Abhisit: That’s not the case.

BBC: Human Rights Watch who has done the most comprehensive investigation of the incident in 2010 said almost every dead was caused by the military gunfire.

Abhisit: The most comprehensive account has been made by the independent truth and reconciliation commission. And as far as the charges are concerned, already about 20 cases have been the work of the protestors, or the armed elements.

BBC: But that’s the least of the majority, we’re talking about 90 deaths. You would accept the majority of the death was caused by the military?

Abhisit: No, no because so far we have had about 20 inquest. And only two so far have concluded that these people died by bullets that were used in the military. But you also have to remember that the protestors already robbed some of the arms that were used by the military, and for this particularly accuse, you have to know the charges first.

BBC: But you do accept that you’re responsible for some of the deaths. You do accept that?

Abhisit: No, the charge that’s being put against me, at the moment, is a death of a person who wasn’t even protesting. What happened was that, a van was trying to crush through the barrier by the military. There were shots being fired. This person ran out to see what happened and unfortunately was shot and got caught.

BBC: This happened to be the first case of that has been investigated….

Abhisit: Sure. But to say that the government ordered the military to kill people, isn’t exactly what happened.

BBC: You did authorize the use of live ammunition.

Abhisit: We did authorize the use of live ammunition.

BBC: Do you regret that decision?

Abhisit: But then how else do you fight people with arms?

BBC: So you don’t’ regret the use of live ammunition.

Abhisit: I regret the losses of people. But the instructions were clear as to how they could use the live ammunition, under which circumstance. The issue was ordered the Deputy PM, first of all it was self defense. It’s preventing possible loss to other people, and they must use it with extreme care. And if there’s a possibility to use the arms against those people who were somehow mixed with the crowd of … they should avoid it. And to say that this ordering meant that we’re ordering the killing of people, I think it’s unfair. and Let me say this, I’ve been around at a number of meetings, around the world, G-20 somebody died because somebody was trying to do their work, there had to be inquest. The death could be justified or not, according to the law, but I don’t see anywhere that the Prime Minister then has to take responsibility for any operations.

BBC: But PM, this is the worst violent political incident your country have seen for decades. The scale of what we’re talking about is considerable. And this is going to be the defining issue of your time in power.

Abhisit: Because this is the first time that we had protest with armed people being involved. If these were peaceful protest, the constitutional protest, legal protest, none of this wouldn’t have happened. If they didn’t have the black shirt people, with weapons, firing at the police firing at the people, firing at the military. None of the losses wouldn’t have occurred.

BBC: How do you feel that this is going to be defining issue of your time and how people would remember your time in power?

Abhisit: I don’t think that’s the case. I think that the people know full well what happened in 2009 and 2010. And the difference is this. As the government, we’re the first , that allows the police, the DSI and the attorney general and the court to work through this. And I will accept whatever verdict, even if it’s a death penalty, I will accept that. And I’m asking the former PM and members of this government that they should do the same, because they’re always looking to find a way to pass the bill to grant themselves the amnesty. That’s all I ever ask. I’m willing to face the charge. I will fight. I will prove my innocence in the court, and if the court for whatever reasons passed the guilty verdict I would accept it .


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