Friday, February 22, 2008

Memorials to a massacre that PM says didn't happen

At the monument to a massacre that Thailand's prime minister says did not happen, I approached two university students. I asked Tang -- the more outgoing of the pair -- why Prime Minister Samak’s denial of an event that happened 32 years ago still matters.

“Mothers, brothers, fathers of those who died care about this event.” He said, “We must care too. It represents the history of democracy in Thailand." He paused, and added, "It shows the power of people to protect democracy.”

“Are the students planning to do anything about it?” I asked Tang.

“The student council which meets at Thammasat Rangsit Center will collect names on a petition. Then we will go to parliament to present our petition to the the prime minister."

I asked Tang how he knew the history of the massacre. He said a professor had talked about the event in one of his classes. Then he added, "Actually, from the age of ten, I knew about this event. I was taught about it in school," said Tang, who grew up in Bangkok.

Tang told me "all the students at Thammasat" know about the massacre of October 6, 1976.

I asked Tang what he wanted Samak to do.

“I want Samak to speak fact, to speak truly” said Tang. “And I hope people in Thailand and around the world come to know the truth and fact of the event.”

* * * * *

At Thammasat University, new memorials have appeared, large poster-sized photographs of the campus massacre that Thai PM Samak says did not happen:

Photos: by Jotman. The caption (red) on the poster reads: "Only one person died?"

No comments:

Post a Comment

Because all comments on this blog are moderated, there will be some delay before your comment is approved.