- Title: Thailand marks university massacre amid junta rule
- Date: 6th October 2016
- Summary: BANGKOK, THAILAND (OCTOBER 6, 2016) (REUTERS) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** PEOPLE MAKING MERIT TO BUDDHIST MONKS PEOPLE GIVING FOOD TO MONKS MONKS TAKING ALMS VARIOUS OF MONKS RECEIVING ALMS PEOPLE GATHERING AT THAMMASAT UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT THAMMASAT UNIVERSITY SURACHAT BAMRUNGSUK WALKING TO STAGE (SOUNDBITE) (Thai) PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT THAMMASAT UNIVERSITY, SURACHAT BAMRUNGSUK, SAYING: "It (Thai politics) is like a toy train that runs around in circle. The changes in Thai politics are like a toy train that runs in a circle. The train that has moved forward will move back to the same place." SURACHAT TALKING NEXT TO MONUMENT (SOUNDBITE) (Thai) PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT THAMMASAT UNIVERSITY, SURACHAT BAMRUNGSUK, SAYING: "The toy train that runs around in circles tells us that it is a constant for the elite, the military and the conservationists who believe that Thai politics will not move forward and will always be under their control." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE STANDING FOR A MINUTE OF SILENCE SIGN READING (Thai) "40 YEAR, OCTOBER 6, 1976" VARIOUS OF PEOPLE LAYING WREATH POSTER WITH PEOPLE BEING HUNG NEXT TO FLOWER (SOUNDBITE) (Thai) STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE, AKARAPON SRIMONGKOL, SAYING: "The political situation (in the past and present) is different in terms of social context. The expression of the people are clearer these days with social media but what remains the same is the administration that we're facing. We have to study history and learn how to handle them." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE LOOKING AT EXHIBITION EXTERIOR OF THAMMASAT UNIVERSITY
- Embargoed: 21st October 2016 06:32
- Keywords: Thailand massacre anniversary junta
- Location: BANGKOK,THAILAND
- City: BANGKOK,THAILAND
- Country: Thailand
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00152V96IT
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Thai students on Thursday (October 6) marked the 40th anniversary of a campus massacre by state forces in the military-ruled country amid what one rights group said was a "deep-rooted culture of impunity" that has emboldened the army to intervene in politics.
Around 200 students gathered at Thammasat University to remember the 1976 massacre and laid wreaths at a memorial.
Political upheavals caused by urban and rural protests destabilized Thailand between October 1973 to October 1976, allowing the military to use the situation to stage an intervention by saying it needed to save the country from what it called the "red menace" - socialist leaning students, academics and farmers.
On October 6, 1976, state forces and royalist mobs attacked a group of about 2,000 students inside Thammasat University in Bangkok and hanged, shot or beat to death dozens, accusing them of sympathizing with revolutions sweeping through Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos at the time.
In recent times, Thailand has weathered more than a decade of political upheaval since the army ousted populist Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006. Eight years later, the army removed his sister, Prime Minister Yingluck, in a May 2014 coup saying it acted to end months of political instability.
Since then, Thailand has faced a deepening rights crisis with political activity and gatherings banned.
Suchart Bamrungsuk, a political science professor and survivor, said it was important to remember the events of 1976 because Thailand had "come full circle."
"It (Thai politics) is like a toy train that runs around in circle. The changes in Thai politics are like a toy train that runs in a circle. The train that has moved forward will move back to the same place," he said.
"The political situation (in the past and present) is different in terms of social context. The expression of the people are clearer these days with social media but what remains the same is the administration that we're facing. We have to study history and learn how to handle them," said student representative Akarapon Srimongkol after the ceremony.
The anniversary commemoration comes one day after Thai immigration barred entry to Hong Kong student activist Joshua Wong who was due to speak at two university events in Bangkok.
Last month, international human rights group Amnesty International accused Thailand's military government of allowing a "culture of torture" to flourish since the army seized power in 2014. The junta rejected accusations of torture.
The military government also declined to comment on the October 6 anniversary.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None