Over the past 24 hours the stand-off between government forces and the Red shirts camped out in central Bangkok has, once again, taken a violent turn. The shooting of outspoken Red shirt commander Seh Daeng (Major General Khattiya Sawasdipol) and the death of another Red protestor adds further fuel to what was already a volatile situation.

Like at other times of significant tension in Bangkok we prefer to allow New Mandala commentators to share their views, information and analysis as comments. For the moment there won’t be substantial commentary from the New Mandala team but we look forward to learning from all of you.

It occurs to us that one issue which is probably crucial to the immediate outcome of this dangerous new phase is the capacity and willingness of the Reds to reinforce their numbers at the main encampment or to spread protests to other strategic sites in Bangkok, or throughout the country. Of course, they may not get such a chance. Word coming from central Bangkok right now is that more shooting and explosions can be heard.

Reader comments on this or other matters are, as ever, very welcome here.

UPDATE (14 May 2010): If you’re wondering “Who shot Seh Daeng?” then this analysis offers some suggestions. It includes a thought-provoking fragment: “How many Thais could have confidently executed this task without hitting any of the surrounding journalists? Perhaps a few hundred.”