Posts Tagged ‘Khattiya Sawasdipol’

The 2010s: The Red is Dead

June 4, 2010

He was the most famous victim of the recent Thai turmoil was Major General Khattiya Sawasdipol, mostly known by his nickname of Seh Daeng (Thai for Red Commander).

He spent his last moments as he did for the last few weeks: inspecting the red shirt security around the red shirt protest on Ratchaprasong and Ratchadamri roads. He stopped to talk to the press near the Sala Daeng intersection. Shots rang out. One bullet hit him in the forehead and he fell to the ground. He did not survive this wound. He died a few days later as the city burned as he wanted it to.

When he was younger, he supposedly helped the Americans in their “secret” (can’t be a secret when everybody knows about it) war against Communists in Laos and Cambodia. He allegedly went undercover as a Communist. There is no proof that he did any of these things. The only evidence is that he turned his experiences into books. These books were very popular in Thailand. He became one of the most well-known soldiers in Thailand.

During the last ten years, he became an ardent supporter of Thaksin Shinawatra and his people. This, of course, developed into a problem when the new non-Thaksin government came into power 18 months ago. He went to red shirt rallies and vocally voiced his oppositions to the governments as well as to the head of the Thai military. They first punished him by demoting him and making him teach an aerobics class. He said he would teach them the “throw-the-grenade-over-the-head” exercise. Despite this punishment, he continued to speak out against the government and they finally suspended him after few months. There was a rumor going around that the military was slow to suspend because he had high friends in the military who were protecting him. Presumably, he was not part of the military when he died.

The only known duties that he was doing at the time were for the Red shirts.

I do not support the Redshirts, but I could never like a person like Seh Daeng, no matter what sided he was on. He seemed to relish talking about violence and wanting it to happen. There was never going to be peace as long as he part of the Redshirts or any other Thai group. After he died, there was peace, but only after many people died.

Seh Daeng is dead and I hope there is no one to replace for his kind of evil should stop when he or she is dead.