Thailand army slams Thaksin lawyer over article: The Thai army hit back at Thaksin Shinawatra lawyer Robert Amsterdam over a scathing article on his blog, saying the article was defamatory and contained groundless accusations by a “narrow-minded” person with a hidden agenda, according to reports.
Mr. Amsterdam is a legal adviser for the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), and is best known in Thailand for being one of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s attorneys.
Several Thai-language media outlets recently ran reports about the article, titled “Life Under a Coup – the Thai Army’s Continual Threat to Thai Democracy”, in which Mr. Amsterdam accuses the Thai army of having “a long and ignoble tradition of stymying democracy, attacking Thai civilians, and meddling in politics”.
In a response to the Thai media reports, army deputy spokesman Winthai Suwaree on Friday said Mr. Amsterdam’s opinion is based on his “bias against the Thai army and could never be regarded as honest criticism, according to a Bangkok Post report.
Mr. Suwaree accused Mr. Amsterdam of having a hidden agenda to discredit the Thai army.
Mr. Amsterdam’s article refers to the military crackdown on the 2010 red-shirt protests as the “Bangkok Massacre”, claiming the army “acted without hesitation” in supporting the Abhisit Vejjajiva-led government “despite that regime having no meaningful democratic mandate”.
He also accuses the Thai army of “sending snipers to kill unarmed civilians and creating ‘live fire zones’ to project their power”. He claims it is an “undeniable historical fact” that the army always uses this projection of their power to attack democracy.
Referring to the current Thai political crisis, Mr. Amsterdam goes on to lambast the army for not defending a democratically-elected Thai government, saying their “sordid cast of generals” appear at press conferences making “veiled threats” to elected lawmakers and “rather pathetic mealy-mouthed excuses” about why they must remain neutral in the current crisis.