On Sunday, November 2, 2008, General Pisarn Wattanawongkiri presided over the Royal Kathin Ceremony for end of Buddhist Lent at Wat Dhammadharo in Canberra. In dress uniform, he was introduced (only in Thai) as the former Fourth Army Region commander and an “advisor” (or consultant?) to the Ministry of Defence (р╕Ьр╕╣р╣Йр╕Кр╣Ир╕зр╕вр╕Чр╕╡р╣Ир╕Ыр╕гр╕╢р╕Бр╕йр╕▓р╕Бр╕гр╕░р╕Чр╕гр╕зр╕Зр╕Бр╕ер╕▓р╣Вр╕лр╕б).

General Pisarn lost his job as the region commander because of his handling of the Tak Bai Police Station protest on October 25, 2004, but although a government-established inquiry (a summary of its report is on The Nation website) found that he and two other officers were responsible for the deaths of at least 77 (some reports, 78 or 79) people in army trucks afterwards, he is still holding an official position. Another 6 or 7 people died outside the police station. General Pisarn was present throughout the entire incident, and can be seen in this video talking to interviewers at just after the 5-minute mark (in black beret and bullet-proof jacket). He can also be seen briefly at the start, before the shooting began.

Is he in Australia just to bring some robes from the Palace or in his capacity as ministerial advisor? Is he meeting with Australian army personnel or other officials? Can any New Mandala readers give more information?