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Photos by Ginger Cat

Members of the general public and political figures gathered on Ratchadamnoen Road in memory of those who died during the 2010 crackdown on Red Shirt protests.  Fourteen years on, the victims have yet to receive justice.

In 2010, Red Shirt supporters staged protests in Bangkok to demand that then prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva dissolve parliament and hold an election. During the crackdown, the military used live ammunition against the protesters.  Between 10 April and 19 May 2010, 99 people were killed and over 1200 were injured.  In memory of those who died, a ceremony was staged on Wednesday (10 April) at the 14 October 1973 Memorial.

The event began with religious rites, followed by a wreath-laying ceremony. Members of the general public, former Red Shirt protesters, activists, and members of political parties were in attendance.

Thida Thavornseth, a former Red Shirt protester, urged political parties to seek justice for those who died during the crackdown. She also demanded that the victims to be publicly exonerated of all wrongdoing and called for those actually responsible for the violence to be tried for their crimes.

Thida Thavornseth

Pheu Thai Party Deputy Spokesperson Chanin Rungtanakiet stressed that the party will always stand for the Red Shirt protesters.  He admitted that his party had been unable to pass an amnesty bill for the victims but said that party leaders remain committed to doing so.

Chanin Rungtanakiet

He was heckled during his speech by audience members, some of whom held up a banner carrying a picture of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra along with the message that Pheu Thai Party had reneged on its promise.

Another speaker, Weng Tojirakorn, said that Pheu Thai party would only be able to regain the support of former Red Shirt movement members if it enacted legislation to give civil courts jurisdiction over military officials accused of criminal wrong-doing and quickly established a constitution drafting commission.

Weng Tojirakorn

Nattawut Saikua, a former Red Shirt leader, pointed out that under the terms of the National Anti-Corruption Commission Bill, lawsuits involving the 2010 crackdown must be adjudicated within the space of 15 years, leaving 1 year before they expire. He urged the bill to be amended so that dismissed cases can be brought back and sent to the prosecutor for deliberation.

Nattawut Saikua

Sasinan Thamnithinan, a Move Forward Party’s MP, said that she was inspired to enter politics by the Red Shirt movement. She noted that her party is calling for the bail rights of political detainees.  She also said that before granting a general amnesty, the truth should be determined about how people died to bring closure for the families of victims.

Sasinan Thamnithinan

At the end of the ceremony, those in attendance organized a candlelight vigil and placed flowers in memory of the dead.

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