It gives me great pleasure to announce the death of Lt General Manas Kongpan, disgraced and bereft in a Thai prison, the most evil man I have encountered in 30 years of journalism...
Manas died Wed in a prison hospital. He got off lightly. In 2009, reporters Alan Morison & Chutima Sidasathian came to @SCMPNews with a tale so hideous it seemed impossible: The Thai military was secretly towing #Rohingya refugees out to sea on wrecks & casting them adrift...
@SCMPNews Hundreds were dying under the most nightmarish circumstances. Skeletal men, baked to death by the tropical sun in excrement-filled hulks, as they drifted. Dying of thirst, starvation. Drowning. How many? We'll never know
Alan and Chutima trusted me as the SCMP's foreign editor with remarkable material, provided by a brave source inside the military: photographic proof of the policy, with Manas in charge. Here he is on the prison island where the refugees were held before being sent to their doom
These were photos taken by the military to document their secret murderous process. Photos of men who were never seen alive again. The banal mechanics of evil
Eventually, the Thai govt was shamed enough to halt this illegal policy. But Manas? Initially he got promoted! And Alan and Chutima got sued by the military for defamation (they won, thank god)
But fate caught up with this monster. In 2015 he was arrested & later jailed for new atrocities: Rohingya were being held in secret jungle prisons, and ransomed back to their impoverished families. Those whose families couldn't pay ended up in a mass grave…
So farewell Gen Manas, you oxygen thief, you killer, you profiteering piece of filth. As a devout Buddhist, you believed in reincarnation. May you suffer more for your crimes in the next life, than you did in this one. And may those you tortured find you, to speed you on your way
I feel I should add this: no story has affected me so deeply, as these crimes were unfolding in real time as we reported them. Reporter @GregTorode was sent racing over the Andaman Sea to the island where we knew the refugees were held; too late, he found just campfires
Greg shouted over mobile phone the tragic news, amid the din of the boat engine & waves: the refugees were gone. I informed the UNHCR. It was the night of Obama's inauguration. As he was sworn in, I went into the deputy editor's office & cried for 20 minutes
Anyway enough of that

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More from @ianjamesyoung70

3 Jun
This thread is getting attention, so I wanted to add a post-script: IMO, there are two reasons horrific treatment of the #Rohingya flies under the radar, both counter-intuitive in the west. 1) The concept of ethno-Buddhist hatred, which many find hard to credit, but is v real...
Exhibit A is Gen Manas, an amulet-wearing believer in Buddhist primacy, who saw Muslim Rohingya as subhuman in same way as, Exhibit B: diplomat Ye Myint Aung, who reject the idea that these dark-skinned "ogres" could possibly be connected to Myanmar…
Exhibit C is even more jarring: Aung San Suu Kyi. Yes, her with the Nobel Peace Prize, who tainted herself with genocide apologia, and sided with the militant ultranationalist Buddhist monks (also a thing) who sought to kill/expel the Rohingya…
Read 6 tweets
1 Jun
Should have been the Edmonton Etymologists
Maybe the Edmonton Tunas
The Edmonton Shrimp
Read 7 tweets
31 May
Oh, hi, you don't think China cares what Canada thinks? Well, the media chief of Citic (China's state investment gigacorp) LITERALLY BOUGHT CONTROL of a Canadian newspaper. The insane story (spoiler, he dies in a Chinese prison) is here...A THREAD:…
I investigated the astonishing tale of Li Bolun & Global Chinese Press (a major Cdn Chi-language paper) last year. It's cited today in a report by @alliancecanhk to Can parl committee on China. That's Li on right with Citic's late chief Wang Jun, one of China's most powerful men Image
So, never mind the subtlety of Chinese influence on local media: Here's Citic, THE CHINESE GOVT'S OWN COMPANY, literally buying a Cdn newspaper. Look. Here's the share certificate! Image
Read 12 tweets
28 May
These are the max diameters of trees that are STILL ALLOWED TO BE KILLED under the BC govt's law that is meant to protect especially large trees.

Sitka spruce (yellow): 2.83m
Coastal red cedar (red): 3.85m

(assumes logging truck width 2.6m)
Diameters are including bark, measured at "breast height", ie: 1.3m off the ground. BC govt says this tree, a spruce, "might" have been saved under the new laws. Others (incl me) are not sure. Look at that yellow circle.
And just because, here are the supposed maximum growth potentials of these two species which was used to devise the big-tree law...again, Sitka spruce (5.6m) in yellow, and coastal red cedar in red (7.7m). Hard to even conceive that trees this big ever existed
Read 4 tweets
28 May
So apparently the carcass of this forest god is worth $30,000, which makes as much sense as valuing your children by their weight as hamburger mince
BC govt says it was killed last year between March and Aug one month before laws to prevent the felling of super-large trees came into effect. So it was legal, if you think that matters… via @viawesome
Priceless? Nope. Price of a Honda Civic, they reckon
Read 5 tweets
27 May
It began as an internet beef. The women used a variety of insults on Chinese forums: donkey, dog, 'most famous cheap woman of Shanghai', ‘old aunt selling bus tickets’. On Tues, it spilled into real life, when Jin Lu was stabbed in a Vancouver courtroom...…
Lu's online rival Catherine Qinqin Shen has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault. It's a wild tale, first told by @proctor_jason of @cbcnewsbc (hat tip). No way was I not picking this one up.
(and while on the subject: reporters should be as free and frequent with hat tips, online and in their content, as their employer allows, IMO. @proctor_jason did the heavy lifting on this...he reported on the original case last year. So yeah. No harm acknowledging a good pickup)
Read 4 tweets

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