The violence at Kru-Se and and Tak Bai were appalling acts by the Thaksin government. The war on drugs represents an equally appalling legacy of violent repression.

Amidst the political chaos of the past two years one of the positive points has been the extraordinary restraint exercised by security forces in the face of legitimate protest and illegitimate provocation. October 7 represents something of an exception, though even then only one person was killed directly, albeit unintentionally, by police action. For a range of reasons, some of them pragmatic rather than honourable, harsh and violent action against protesters has become politically unacceptable.

The PAD is determined to destroy this fragile culture of restraint. The PAD message is clear – if the security forces exercise restraint, the protesters will increase their provocation. For all their rhetorical outrage about October 7, the PAD leadership is determined to expose their supporters to death and injury. Some observers of Thai politics may have had doubts about this in the past. Now, there is no reasonable doubt.

There must be many in the security forces who are seething at their current humiliation. PAD has made a mockery of their moderation. Violent repression is, once again, on the agenda.

Restraint is discredited.