Red shirts commemorate 7th anniversary of anti-coup suicide

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.

A woman lays down a beauquet of flowers at the pillar dedicated to Nuamthong Praiwan, a taxi driver who committed a symbolic suicde against 2006 military coup, at a pedestrian bridge on Vibhabadee Rangsit road in Bangkok. 

A pillar was built and installed in honour of Nuamthong Praiwan at the pedestrian bridge on Vibhavadi Rangsit road where the 60-year-old taxi driver hanged himself on October 31, 2006. It was his second suicide attempt after he tried to kill himself by driving his cab into a military tank on September 30, 2006 when he was seriously injured. 
 
"We will build more statues for commoners. The next [statue will be built] at Ratchaprasong. This is a new phenomenon in which contributions by commoners are recorded in the public sphere in this country," said Thida Thavornseth, a red shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) co-leader on Thursday morning. She referred to the bloody crackdown on red shirt demonstrators at Ratchaprasong intersection, a business district of Bangkok, in May 2010.
 
Due to the gathering of red shirt crowds, traffic on Vibhavadi Rangsit road was partly blocked on Thursday morning.
 

 
Red-shirts and anti-coup activists gather to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the symbolic suicide against 2006 coup. 
 
The UDD also donated two million baht to Nuamthong's wife. Thida said the donation was actually from Pojjaman Damapong, ex-wife of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, because Nuamthong was also a victim of political conflict but did not receive any remedy from the state. 
 
On Thursday evening, another commemoration was held at the 14 October Memorial on Ratchadamnoen Avenue by the 24 June Democracy group. A poem dedicated to the suicide of Nuamthong was read along with other commemorative speeches.