Left Menu
Development News Edition

Thai anger unabated, banned politician says, 10 years after deadly army crackdown

Reuters | Bangkok | Updated: 19-05-2020 17:07 IST | Created: 19-05-2020 16:32 IST
Thai anger unabated, banned politician says, 10 years after deadly army crackdown
Representative Image Image Credit: Wikimedia

Thailand marked the 10th anniversary of a bloody army crackdown on protesters on Tuesday, with a banned opposition politician saying anger was unabated, especially after last year's disputed election that kept a coup leader in power. Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, a rising political star whose youth-oriented Future Forward Party was dissolved by a Thai court in February, stopped short of personally calling for supporters to take to the streets.

But he said it was inevitable that protests that sprang up earlier this year would return once the coronavirus health crisis eases. "I walk on the street, people would come and ask me when would I be leading them to the streets. So I believe that you can prolong the situation, but you cannot prevent the eventuality," Thanathorn, 41, told Reuters in an exclusive interview.

"Even if I am not leading them, they will find a leader to lead them," Thanathorn spoke on the 10th anniversary of a crackdown on months of at times violent street protests by the Red Shirt supporters of army-ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The military operation killed more than 90 people, mostly civilians, and wounded hundreds.

The military has always denied using excessive force and government spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat said there was no need for new investigations. "Everything that happened 10 years ago has gone through the court process," Narumon said.

No member of the armed forces or police was ever convicted of wrongdoing. Commemorations were subdued this year because of coronavirus restrictions on gatherings.

Payao Akkahad, whose daughter Kamonkade Akkahad was shot dead along with five other paramedics at Bangkok's Prathum Wanaram temple, laid flowers in front of a photo of her daughter, kneeling in front of the gates of the temple which unusually were locked. "We have to continue to fight to demand justice," Payao said. "I have to do it for the younger generation and the children."

Thanathorn said there could be no justice for the dead under Thailand's current government. "This is a war, the war of memory. The establishment, the elite, they want us to forget about what happened," Thanathorn said.

"Unless and until we can establish a genuine democracy in this country, there would be no accountability in the military." Elections last year led to former army chief Prayuth Chan-Ocha retraining power, five years after he overthrew a pro-Thaksin elected government in 2014.

Prayuth and the courts deny accusations that last year's election results were manipulated.



Why COVID-19 is unstoppable in USA despite it being ranked at the top of GHS Index?

Several worst-hit countries such as Italy, France, Spain, the UK, Canada, and Russia have peaked COVID-19 cases in April. Almost all of them have gradually flattened the curve. However, the USA is setting new daily records of infections tha...

COVID-19 seems cooking biggest ever global scam

The increasing number of corruption cases on COVID-19 funds from throughout the world and involvement of high profile persons indicate that the countries cant ignore corruption in their pandemic response programs. This has generated the nee...

Health Management Information Systems lack holistic, integrated, and pandemic resilient character

Being a part of the United Nations system, the World Health Organization WHO deserves its share of rebuke for its alleged failure issue COVID-19 health emergency alerts on appropriate time. However, the pandemic has also exposed loopholes i...

Pride in the time of coronavirus: a welcome move online?

This year is different in many ways not least as celebrations are also taking place against the dramatic backdrop of a global health crisis and a resurgence in grassroots activism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. ...


Latest News

Bahrain top court upholds death sentences against two activists

Bahrains highest court upheld death sentences against two activists for bombing a convoy and killing a police officer, after convictions that human rights groups say were based on confessions extracted through torture. Mohammed Ramadhan and...

Australia fears virus may spread despite dip

Australias worst-hit Victoria state recorded only 177 new coronavirus cases on Monday, but a health official is warning the diseases spread might yet worsen. The new cases were substantially down from 273 cases on Sunday and a record 288 on...

EMERGING MARKETS-Assets start week on strong note; Polish zloty up after presidential results

Emerging market risk assets started the week on a strong footing on Monday, with investors turning their focus towards the beginning of the U.S. corporate earnings season, while Polands zloty edged higher after Andrzej Duda won the countrys...

Spanish judge strikes down confinement for Catalan area over coronavirus

A Spanish judge barred Catalan authorities from confining about 160,000 people to their homes in the city of Lleida and seven other towns as coronavirus cases rose, saying the regional government had exceeded its powers.People will still no...

Give Feedback