Red Shirt deaths: Should we forgive and forget?


The banner reads: Bon Kai residents have never forgotten the 15 bodies of heroes who passed away. People are welcome to light candles to salute and memorize all heroes here at 6pm. [referring to the Red Shirt rally on May 19, 2012]

Red Shirt rally recalls bloodshed – AFP, May 20, 2012
…The city’s vast Central World shopping mall, which was set alight in the chaotic and bloody endgame to the 2010 protests, closed early as the crowd packed into the courtyard outside waiting for Mr Thaksin’s address.
“We love him,” said Sunan Chansinng, who made the two-hour trip from Pattaya for the rally. “He cares about the poor and nobody else does in Thailand…”

Thaksin: Let’s put unity before justice – Bangkok Post, May 20, 2012
…”We have to drag the murderers into jail. We have to execute them,” Mr Suporn said. “Real power is not in the hands of the government. It’s still in the hand of the ammart. The Yingluck government’s power is with the red shirts.”
Tida Tawornseth, UDD chairwoman, said reconciliation could only come after justice. “It’s not that we don’t want reconciliation. But reconciliation must come with truth. There must be truth and justice before reconciliation,” she said…

Thailand: 2 years after conflict, gunmen go unnamed –, May 19, 2012
…As relatives of the dead solemnly commemorate the protests’ two-year anniversary, there is little hope that their loved ones’ killers will ever face trial.
No soldier or official has been charged. The identities of armed commandoes within protest camps, who sometimes resisted troops with their own military-grade weapons, remain a mystery.
The mystery may go unsolved forever. A pending amnesty bill in parliament would absolve all officials, protesters, cops and troops implicated in the 2010 political violence.
The bill’s passage would continue a pattern in Thailand: explosive protests, harsh army crackdown and then amnesty all around. The latest round of protests recalls protesters challenging the Thai army’s grip on politics in 1976 and 1992. Both were sparked by popular anger towards coup plotters. Both ended in scores of civilian deaths…

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