Below is the letter written by Tharathorn Boongam-anong, 16-year-old daughter of Sombat Boongam-anong, a Red Sunday faction leader who was arrested on June 5. The police has detained and charged Sombat for inciting unrests and violating the Computer Crime Act.
Letter to General Prayuth Chan-ocha, Leader of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)
Dear Gen Prayuth,
My name is Tharathorn Boonngam-anong, 16 years old, and the daughter of Mr. Sombat Boonngam-anong, aka ‘Bor Kor Lai Jud’. I want to seek your help and mercy. My father has been deprived of his liberty. As you also have a daughter, you must have experienced love and intimacy between you and your own daughter. If your daughter happens to be treated the same way as my father does, you would have known how it feels. I am devastated by the detention of my father. He is not a criminal. He has been working to promote rights, freedom and social justice. He has been practicing nonviolence. If everyone adheres to the same approach my father does, there would have been no violence. My father has never used violence. He has harmed no one and abused no one.
As far as I could recall, my father has always been working for public interest. He always told us to sacrifice and to place utmost importance on society. He keeps thinking everyday how to help better the society. He asks the questions and looks for the answers. For example, upon realizing that homeless people should be taken care of, he would think and find out ways to help them by creating a medical care program for the homeless, setting up the organization to track down missing persons, etc. My father’s wish is people are happy and treated equally and justly. I myself volunteered to help at a crisis response office in Phang-nga during the Tsunami crisis. My father set up the center to help relatives of the victims since when I was six years old. And he has been recognized as recipient of Ashoka award and Social Innovation Award, among others. He does not at all deserve this kind of punishment.
My mother is the person who knows best about him. She used to tell me that ‘Since I got to know your father, he has always put the highest priority on serving society and has never changed his belief. He always thinks and acts with his conviction in freedom, unity and fraternity among human beings. Though he may criticize, grumble about and fool people around sometimes, but he has never pondered about harming anyone. And though he does not go to temple, he has always upheld justice. And working for society is part of this religious practice.’ I totally agree with this reckoning.
In order to really return happiness to Thai society as you have been promising, I urge that you consider returning happiness to my family as well. I do not believe that my father has done anything wrong. Please help to look after him. Pleas let him go. Please let my father live safely and be free soon. Let him take care of me like my father and to live his normal life and allow him to continue working for his country.
From the bottom of my heart,