19 September 2006 coup
The coup was staged on 22 May—it is the 19th coup since Thailand abolished its absolute monarchy in 1932. While domestic pressure has been built up against the coup, international community has also kept a watchful eye on what has happened in Thailand.
Mainueng K. Kunthee was the pen name of Kamol Duangphasuk, a prominent red-shirt poet and activist who was shot dead on Wednesday evening by unknown assailants.
About a thousand of anti-coup activists and anti-establishment red-shirts on Thursday commemorated the seventh anniversary of the symbolic suicide of a taxi driver against the 2006 coup d’état at two separate events in Bangkok.
The past is always subject to editing, omission, co-optation and selective memorisation. This was manifested recently when the red shirts flocked to listen to their leaders' speeches at Muang Thong Thani's Thunder Dome. Before people like Jatuporn Promphan and Nattawut Saigua took the stage, a video showing how resistance to the September 19, 2006, military coup took shape was screened.
To anyone interested in Thailand’s recent history and politics Dr. Thongchai Winichakul needs little introduction. A famed academic and historian, now resident in Singapore and the USA, Dr. Thongchai was a student leader during the terrible Thammasat Massacre of 1976 and spent time in prison following those events.
Nitirat, a group of law academics at Thammasat University, has announced two activities to be held in January next year to campaign for amendments to Article 112 and the nullification of the 2006 coup’s legal effects, as has been proposed to the public by the group.
Six years ago, a taxi driver, Nuamthong Praiwan, slammed his taxi into a military tank near a military headquarters in Bangkok. The seriously injured driver told the press he wanted to protest against the coup committed on 19 September that year. Then, the Deputy Spokesperson of the coupmakers, the misnomer, “Council for Democratic Reform (CDR)”, lashed out against the driver claiming that in thiscountry “no one dares to die for democracy.” In protest of the slanderous remark, on 31 October, Uncle Nuamthong hung himself to a flyover on Vipavadi Rd.
Two weeks ago, on September 19, as Thailand marked the fifth anniversary of the coup that ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra from power, a group of academics, known as the Nitirat group, called a press conference to call for the expunging of all records and judicial decisions originating from the 2006 coup, the drafting of a new charter, as well as the amendment of the controversial lese majeste law by making it less draconian.
What did you do five years ago when you heard that another military coup was being staged? Did you support it or were you against it? Or did you just sit by idly?