Another victim of state violence in 2010, Mr. Thanuthat Assawasirimankong, aka “Uncle Kim”, passed away yesterday after almost two years of pains and immovability. He died of the excessive use of force by the Abhisit government that has led to many unnecessary deaths. He had just recovered from cancer and was celebrating this good news with his family when the shooting happened.
Meanwhile a couple of days ago, Somchai Hom-laor, a veteran human rights activist and a member of Thailand’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, compared the violent crackdown in May 2010 to “fighting between husbands and wives”. According to him “Both could be wrong. They kept blaming each other; I am right, you are wrong. They blame that the other had started it first.”
I unreservedly never believe that Uncle Kim died of a “family fight”. But the comment does tell the quality and a lack of impartiality among “big” human rights activists in Thailand. Had Somchai ever made such an offensive remark during the clashes between the government and Yellow Shirts? Would he compare the October massacre in 1976, during which he was clubbed and soaked in blood as a core member of student movement, to a family fight? I doubt it. Really doubt it.
Somchai Homla-or got beaten at Thammasat University on 6 Oct 1976
Below is a capturing story written by “August” who was by Uncle Kim’s bedside until his last breath.
“I don’t wanna die.”
“I want to live to see my children graduate.”
“I want to be with my children at their graduation ceremonies.”
“I wanna see my son getting ordained.”
“I wanna see my children getting married and bearing me grandchildren.”
These words sound familiar enough for any parents. But it has been uttered voicelessly through the moving mouth of Uncle Kim in the past two months at a state hospital where he has been bed-ridden out of his paralysis since last May.
14 May 2010, the day he was shot was exactly fifteen days after he recovered from colon cancer. He took his family out for dinner in a nearby restaurant. While waiting for the bus home, he was shot by security officers. At the scene where he was shot, many vendors still were busy selling their food and products. No warning had been made by the state before the shooting spree was launched.
Uncle Kim passed away on 23 February 2012 at around 11.10 pm. He was survived by two children and “Pi Or” his beloved wife who has been tending to him. He wanted to go home, but could not owing to the serious injuries he had been living with for almost two years. His last word “Will my daughter pass the exam?”
May you rest in peace, Uncle Kim (Thanuthat Assawasirimankong).