Bangkok blast: Victims' families call for justice

Bangkok blast: Victims' families call for justice
PHOTO: AFP

Relatives of those killed or injured in the Aug 17 bombing in downtown Bangkok expect the Thai government to bring the culprits to justice as soon as possible, the Chinese embassy in Bangkok has said.

On Sunday morning, Wu Zhiwu, minister counselor at the embassy, led a delegation to lay white flowers at the scene of the deadly blast inside Erawan Shrine that left 20 dead and more than 120 wounded.

Among the fatalities were seven Chinese, five from the mainland and two from Hong Kong. About 20 injured Chinese are still hospitalised, with four in critical condition.

Sunday was the seventh day since the bombing. In Chinese tradition, the seventh day is when people commemorate a lost loved one. In addition to the embassy delegation, some Chinese visitors, including the relatives of victims, prayed and burned paper money at the shrine.

"We came to remember the lost lives, from China, Thailand and other countries, in our Chinese way," Wu said. "At the same time, we offered our condolences to the families of the victims."

He said the embassy has been working hard over the past seven days to arrange volunteers, visit hospitals, help family members and attend funerals.

"We believe that the Thai government will take effective measures and bring Bangkok back to the peaceful 'City of Angels' as it used to be, as well as continue providing quality services to international travelers," he added.

The Thai royal family, government agencies and Chinese associations in Thailand have offered compensation worth about 1.3 million baht (S$51,439) to the families of each Chinese victim. However, relatives said they want justice rather than money.

"No matter how much money the Thais offer, we still have to cope with the pain of our loss," said a man from Jiangxi province as he paid his respects to his 50-year-old sister-in-law, and a 24-year-old niece, both of whom died in the bombing. "We need a result, otherwise the security concerns about the country will always be there."

So far, the Thai police have released only a sketch of a foreign-looking male suspect.

The bombing will ultimately affect the country's economy in a short term, according to Thitinan Pongsudhirak, an associate professor at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

 

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