Thaksin writes to families of 2010 'martyrs'
Praphan Jindalertudomdee,
Pimnara Pradubwit
September 23, 2012

Ousted and convicted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra has written two open letters to relatives of people killed in violent protests in mid-2010, claiming that the incidents would be remembered as the most deadly dispersal of protesters in Thai history.

Thaksin added that a report by the People's Information Centre (PIC) - academics and red-shirt sympathisers - entitled "Truth for Justice" reflected on the truth behind the 98 deaths.

He said the protesters who were killed were not terrorists and hoped that it would lead to the prosecution of people who ordered the killings and to justice.

In the second letter, addressed more personally to relatives of those killed, Thaksin referred to people who died as "martyrs".

"I feel grateful for the sacrifice of all martyrs who re-established democracy but met with fate. I insist that I always feel grateful to the debt of honour I owe to all of you and will try to take the best care of the families of everyone," Thaksin wrote.

He said giving all Thais the opportunity to become prosperous was also his goal but he had faced resistance from those who oppose change. "This leads to the political chaos [that persists] up to the present. But I will offer you both my moral support and will stand by you until I die."

Meanwhile, former premier Somchai Wongsawat claimed that two out of three Thais support Thaksin and people should cease opposing his return to Thailand.

Somchai also criticised Kanit na Nakorn, chairman of the Truth for Reconciliation Commission (TRCT), who suggested earlier this week that Thaksin should wash his hands of politics for good. Somchai claimed that Thaksin, his brother-in-law, had "immensely" benefited the country and he felt that those who staged the coup in 2006 to oust Thaksin should apologise for what they did, as they had committed treason.

Somchai said people who did not want Thaksin to return feared him because he was more able than them, claiming that eventually, no one could stop Thaksin from returning if the call by the people became like a wall of water breaking a water bank.

Somchai said those responsible for the more than 90 deaths in 2010 must be brought to justice.

In a related development, Pheu Thai party-list MP Jarupan Kuldiloke claimed the final report by the TRCT was like one he had published a year earlier, and some foreign experts had cast doubt on the accuracy of the number of deaths and injuries noted by the commission.

Jarupan criticised the report as "unprofessional", with the only reliable part being the section on live bullets killing red shirts.

Democrat Party MP Ong-art Klampaiboon said there was still no clarity over what the Yingluck Shinawatra administration would do with the TRCT report. He called on the administration to endorse the report because the Commission was earlier endorsed by her administration. The government should also implement proposals made by the commission in order to achieve national reconciliation, Ong-art said.