A tale of two newspapers: Black May 13 years later

A tale of two newspapers: Black May 13 years later - May 18, 2005
The two papers start with different ages for the person quoted. The Nation states "hundreds" of people disappeared while the Post reports "missing could be as high as 50." The Nation article concludes with quotes that relates Black May to the present day saying Thailand is now a "capitalist dictatorship" and also has a separate editorial (see below) accusing Thaksin of leading Thai democracy down a 'blind alley" and even weaving in the airport scanner scandal. The Post concludes its article with a call for an amnesty law and cautiously notes that state officials were accomplices in most cases.

BLACK MAY REMEMBERED: One woman's plea for justice - The Nation, May 17, 2005
...A 71-year-old woman yesterday pleaded with authorities to determine the fate of her son, who disappeared after the Black May incident in 1992.
Yesterday was the 13th anniversary of the incident.
"I am an old woman and I want to perform a funeral for my son before I die," Sangwian Phomuang said.
Sangwian said she and scores of her son's surviving relatives could not bring the incident to a close, because authorities had still not concluded their reports on what had happened to the hundreds of people who disappeared following the pro-democracy uprising...
State Enterprise Labour Association general secretary Somsak Kosaisuk said a dictatorship still existed in this country, but had transformed itself into a "capitalist dictatorship".
In this system, he said, capitalists had taken absolute control over the country.
"But money is used as a weapon instead of guns,'' he said...

More: 'A tale of two newspapers' archives

Mum still hopes to see missing son - Bangkok Post, May 18, 2005
...As a mother in her late 60s, Sangwian Phomuang says her only hope is to find her son who disappeared in the 1992 Black May uprising, either dead or alive...
According to the Interior Ministry, a total of 38 people went missing on that day on top of the 44 killed on the streets of Bangkok. However, civic groups said the number of the missing could be as high as 50. They believed the authorities at the time had disposed of the bodies of some slain protesters to hide the real casualty figures...
" Although the number of missing people here is not large compared to in other countries, the severity of the problem is that none of them has ever been found.'' In other countries some of the missing were found dead, he said, but that was "better'' than not finding them at all, Mr Jaran said...
Mr Jaran said in some other countries there was a law that encouraged kidnappers to surrender in exchange for reduced penalties. If Thailand had a law like that, it would be easier to trace missing people.
Pibhop Thongchai, adviser to the Campaign for Popular Democracy, said disappearance cases here remained largely unsolved because state officials were either the culprits or their accomplices in most cases.

Coming full circle from Black May - The Nation, May 17, 2005
...Thaksin came to challenge Thais’ clamouring for reform, defy the legitimacy of the Green Flag spirit and probably expose the nation’s true identity. In the space of four years, the fight for political transparency and civil liberty has became, once again, a back-to-the-wall job. And Thaksin’s great escape from the share-concealment scandal was not as significant as the empathy or even cheers that greeted it. All of a sudden, the belief that we need a good system in order to have good politicians was shattered by the ancient doctrine that a leader’s survival and that of the country were inseparable...
Nothing is as damning as our political system’s pathetic response to the Suvarnabhumi Airport bribery scandal. The government is blaming the media for “ruining” the country’s reputation...
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