Washington, D.C., May 13, 2010 - The shooting of a controversial Thai general who has sided with the country's Red Shirt anti-government protest movement was witnessed first-hand Thursday by a Voice of America journalist.
VOA Bangkok Correspondent Daniel Schearf’s description of the shooting at the start of a Thai government crackdown on the protesters can be heard at www.VOANews.com.
Schearf was just meters from Major General Khattiya Sawasdipol, also known as Seh Daeng, in Central Bangkok when the shot rang out and the general slumped to the ground with a head wound. Schearf says the general was apparently shot by a sniper.
An Army spokesman was quoted earlier saying snipers would be deployed and were prepared to fire live ammunition if necessary. Thai security forces began moving against the Red Shirt protesters early Thursday in an effort to force them out of downtown Bangkok.
The general has been a strong critic of the Thai government and a key supporter of the protesters, who have occupied the upscale Bangkok neighborhood for several weeks, demanding the resignation of Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Voice of America is providing extensive coverage of the situation, including at our Thai Service website, http://www1.voanews.com/thai/news/.
The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 125 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages and are intended exclusively for audiences outside of the United States.
For more information, call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.