Father grieving over his children's deaths chooses to forgive

BANGKOK - The father who lost his children to Sunday's grenade attack says he is engulfed in pain, but feels no anger against the attackers who were apparently targeting the anti-government rally site.

"I am suffering the deepest pain, but have decided to forgive," Thayakorn Yos-ubol said tearfully.

His two children, Korawich and Patcharakorn, were not among the demonstrators. They had simply gone shopping with their aunt and cousin when they were hit by a grenade that landed in front of Big C shopping mall on Rajdamri Road on Sunday afternoon.

Korawich was four and his sister six years old.

"I can't cope with what has happened. My children were so pure and innocent. I really don't know how long it will take for this wound in my heart to heal," the devastated father said.

Thayakorn went on to say that he had a simple dream for his children - he just wanted them to grow up and become good members of society.

"But now my dream is dead," he said as he hugged his wife while waiting to pick up their children's bodies. Both children were pronounced dead at Ramathibodhi Hospital - the place they were born.

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"This is a tragedy," the hospital's director Dr Surasak Leela-udomlipi told the press yesterday.

Korawich passed away on Sunday evening, while his sister succumbed to injuries on Monday morning. Their nine-year-old cousin, Yothin Cha-aemram, is under intensive care at the same hospital.

Yothin's mother Nareerat Chairat wished she had been hit instead of the children.

"Better me than my nephew, niece and son," the distraught mother, who was in a wheelchair, said.

She also sustained injuries from the blast, but they are not very serious.

Nareerat said she and the children were about to hail a tuk-tuk to head back to Thayakorn's home when the grenade suddenly landed in their vicinity and exploded.

"I wish it was just a bad dream," she lamented.

Thayakorn, however, said he hoped all sides would learn from this and bring an end to the chaos. He said his focus was on holding his kids' funeral rites, which will be held at Phrom-wongsaram Temple (Wat Luang Phor Nane).

Meanwhile, the lawyer representing the relatives of the two men killed in bloody clashes at the Phan Fah Lilat Bridge on February 18 lodged a complaint yesterday at the Criminal Court against caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for her alleged role in the violent crackdown on protesters.

The lawsuit also named Chalerm Yoobamrung in his capacity as director of the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order, National Police chief General Adul Saengsingkaew, Department of Special Investigation chief Tarit Pengdith and a few other senior police officers.