We received the following account from a New Mandala reader in Bangkok. It provides a very personal perspective on the events around Dindaeng earlier today.
Around 4.19 am. I was woken up by the sound of something like gunshots but I wasn’t sure. I live near the junction between Rachavithi and Rachaprarop Roads – not far from the Dindaeng triangle. So I went out to have a look. I saw many taxi drivers taking their cars to block the roads and a number of red group protesters around. Some of them told me that the sound I heard was that of the soldiers throwing tear gas at the red protesters at the triangle. I saw two ambulances went in and not long later they came out with some people inside. The people there seemed to be very angry and when one of them shouted “‘one of us is dead, brothers”, the rest ran along shouting with anger. Someone came along with something that looked like a container of fuel and not long after I saw a fire being lit not far in front. But it didn’t look like the news of death was true. It was clarified later that the soldiers used tear gas but still people did not back off. One of the taxi drivers got off his car parked in front of me and opened up the rear, took out a baton and a piece of cloth then wrapped it around his face and then walked up to the frontline. Another taxi driver told me soldiers fired tear gas at people protesting in other parts of town too. People asked each other was there any members of the media around and got no answer. Then something happened in the front and people started to run. I did too – back to my room. More gunshot-like sound was heard again and again – just now – in fact- but I stayed inside feeling all ashamed that may be people are killing each other out there but I can’t do anything.I checked the television and got no news. There were programs on someting about the royal visit to somewhere on the Thai PBS, the public television and channel 11 has a monk preaching about how bad it is to block the roads. He said people who did this invited trouble on themselves because there might be someone too angry to control themselves and throw a bomb at them. “Even me, sometimes I thought – let’s get them. You see. Even a monk. But I can suppress that thought.” I changed the program and checked out some websites and got into a chat room of the red group. They were complaining about the media. One of them said ‘”I hope they rot in hell. They let us die and are not even reporting on it.” Outside I hear more of the gunshot-like sounds again. I hear people shouting and someone urging people to join others at Government House.Dawn now.