On 23 May, hundreds of red shirts from various districts of Kalasin, Sakon Nakhon and Mukdahan attended the funeral of Akkaradej Khankaew, or the ‘small person’, one of six people killed during the carnage in Pathumwanaram Temple on 19 May.
Akkaradej’s body was taken back from the Police Hospital to his hometown in Nong Pue, Khao Wong District, Kalasin Province, in northeastern Thailand late on the night of 21 May.
He was shot in the head, stomach and leg, and died inside the temple while helping paramedics attend to injured people, a voluntary job which he had done for over a month when he joined the red-shirt rally.
According to Prasat Phimphao, village head of Nong Pue, who went to Bangkok to bring back the body of Akkaradej, the autopsy certificate issued by the Forensic Department of the Police Hospital said that Akkaradej died from being hit with a hard object. He and his friends had to argue the point, and the hospital then agreed to change the form to death from a gunshot wound to the head with the exit wound at the cheek.
His home was decorated with red flags. At first, his family members wanted to have a red coffin for his body, but could not find one, so ended up with a pink one.
Hundreds of red shirts from the adjoining provinces attended the funeral. Also present were Kalasin MPs and local officials, as well as wreaths from Thaksin Shinawatra and the Puea Thai Party.
In the afternoon of 22 May, family members and red shirts paraded Akkaradej’s photos and wreaths around Khao Wong and nearby Na Khu district to publicize his tragic death and condemn the government who ordered the crackdown. However, the district chief asked them not to use loudspeakers, so the parade honked car horns, distributed leaflets and informed local residents through word of mouth instead.
His body was cremated at a local temple on 23 May.