Thursday, June 10, 2010

Security Forces' Operations Against Thai Red-Shirts

After the war has ended, it was time for counting the bodies and the expenses of the operations of the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES). It has been initially found that the budget for the operations has been paid through fast-track procedures. The paying has been divided into sectors and the cost included the pays for informants in the fields.

Number of Security Forces
Earlier, it has been counted that the cost of CRES' operations from 12 to 23 March was about Bt280 million or about Bt30-40 million a day. When the operations of the CRES were extended, the number of security forces was increased from 50,000 to 64,000 since 23 March.

So, the cost of operations increased. From 23 March to 30 May when the curfew was lifted, the operation cost of the CRES stood at Bt3.4 billion and this cost was only the daily allowances paid to the security forces. The disbursements were made in installments in forms of emergency and necessary funds. The disbursements were requested from the Budget Bureau under the supervision of the Finance Ministry.

The disbursements were for only paying allowances and costs of foods to field officers and officers working in offices of the agencies concerned. When the fuel cost and all other expenses were added up, the overall cost of the operations was definitely higher than Bt5 billion.

The CRES announced that a total of 50,000 troops from the Army, Navy and Air Force were dispatched for the operations. Of 50,000 troops, 33,000 were dispatched to the fields while the 17,000 others were on standby in their agencies.

The operations were carried out under the Internal Security Act from 12 to 23 March. The budget for the operations of the military forces was approved by the Budget Bureau of the Finance Ministry as requested by the military through the International Security Operations Command (ISOC). The ISOC requested the budget for the cost of operations by 50,000 troops.

Moral Support
Troops of all ranks, who were deployed to keep security, were paid Bt300 a day each for a special allowance on top of field-operation allowance for Bt120 to Bt280 each a day. Moreover, there was a cost for providing three meals a day to the troops. There was also a cost of moral support of Bt100 a day for each troop.

The troops deployed for the operations could be broken up by their branches of armed forces -- the Navy, Air Force and Army. Navy Commander in Chief Adm Khamthon Phumhiran assigned Rear Adm Rungsak Serisawat, commander of the Bangkok Naval Base, to deploy four companies of troops for the operations. One company was deployed from the Navy Military Police Regiment, two companies from the Bangkok Naval Base and another company from the Marine Corps. The security forces of the Navy were in charge of areas on the Thon Buri side, particularly the Sirirat Hospital.

Air Force Commander-in-Chief ACM Itthaphon Suphawong assigned A.M. Raphiphat Laploetbun, commander of the Air Force's Ground Security Force Corps to deploy three companies of troops to take part in the operations. Two companies were stationed in the Government House while another company was on standby. The Air Force also dispatched 100 military police to help police man security checkpoints around the protest zone.

Engaged in Clashes With Protesters
The rest of 220 companies of troops came from the 1st Army Area, 2nd Army Area and 3rd Army Area. The troops were under command of First Army Area Commander Lt Gen Khanit Saphithak. Acting national police chief Pol Gen Prathip Tanprasoet also assigned 200 companies of policemen for the operations. The cost of the allowance for police forces was Bt700 million.

Each policeman received only Bt120 per day as an allowance. The policemen would receive Bt300 special allowance only when they engaged in clashes with protesters. The Royal Thai Police shouldered the cost of foods for all police forces in the operations. The Royal Thai Police paid Bt800,000 a day for the cost of the foods.Moreover, there were also costs of Department of Special Investigations (DSI) for deploying officers to investigate cases, which happened during the enforcement of the emergency decree. And the Cabinet allocated an additional budget of Bt10 million for the DSI for the purpose.

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