Relatives of Thailand's slain red shirts seek peaceful solution

Relatives of Thailand's slain red shirts seek peaceful solution
Police officers (above) handing flowers to protesters as they removed barriers to government compounds on Tuesday, giving access to the places demonstrators had been fighting to occupy. A protester celebrating after opening the Government House’s gate.

BANGKOK - "I want to see peace. I don't want to see such things occurring again," said Maneerat Kemnak, the 21-year-old daughter of Viroj Kemnak, who was killed by gun shot in the early hours of last Sunday near Rajamangala Sports Stadium in Bangkok where the reds held a rally.

"I feel sorry for HM the King and the fact that we call our society a democracy. Let us not kill one another anymore."

Surarat Thongphu, mother of killed red-shirt demonstrator, Vishnu Thongphu, said she's worried that more could die in the days ahead. "If they don't stop [the confrontation], many more will die."

The same sentiment was aired by Thachid Viengkham, uncle of slain red-shirt off-duty conscript soldier Thanasit Viengkham, 22. "I want both sides to stop and seek a solution through negotiations."

Thachid said Thanasit went to join the rally out of his own will and volunteered when red-shirt leaders asked for help. Sudarat wanted the police to quickly bring the killer of her son to justice, however, adding that she felt the media have played down the news about the death of red shirts. "I lost a bread winner," she said, adding that her son, a company technician, was financially supporting her parents.

Maneerat, who's still a third-year university student at Sri Saket Rajabhat University said she was speechless about her father's death, however, she was not interested in politics. Her father, Viroj, was an employee at the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

They all said the red-shirt movement and the related government agencies have been providing assistance although they refused to provide details. None of them said they had received any messages of condolences from leaders of the anti-government protest groups or the opposition Democrat party. Sudarat said a wreath was sent for her 26-year-old son's funeral by Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra, however.

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