Accounts of the dead II: red shirts remembered

28 05 2010

Prachatai has a short account of the life, death and funeral of Kamolkade Akkahad, who was just 25 years of age “when she was shot dead inside Pathumwanaram Temple on 19 May.  She was called Kade by her friends, but was Moo (pig) to her family members, as she ate a lot and was plump, according to her mother.”

Kade's funeral

According to the report, “Kade was born into a poor family.  Her mother used to sell khao kaeng (rice with toppings), and then turned to selling flowers and garlands in the market.  Her father works for an electricity utility.  She had a warm family, with two younger brothers, 21 and 18, to whom she was very close.”

She was “outspoken and sharp-tongued, yet good-humoured, and she was loved by others and had many friends.  She was popular at the market when she went to help her mother…”.

Still in school, Kade volunteered with the Po Tek Tung Foundation. Kade eventually got “paramedic training and apprenticed at hospital accident and forensic departments.  After training, she worked in the accident and emergency department of a hospital.” She lost that job when the hospital closed. She joined the red shirt protests and she “went as a volunteer.”

Kade was shot while tending the injured and wearing a paramedic’s uniform.

Andrew Buncombe, himself shot at the temple, attended the funeral and reported for the Independent (27 May 2010). He reports that Kade’s body was “one of six removed from Wat Pathum the following morning. Post-mortem tests have revealed that all were killed by high-velocity bullets. Ms Akahad was hit three times.”

He adds: “It would perhaps be a step too far to claim that the journey to Poonsin I – a two-and-a-half-hour crawl through Bangkok’s bumper-to-bumper rush-hour traffic – was a trip that symbolised the social divisions at the heart of the conflict tearing at the fabric of Thailand. But her working-class neighbourhood, set on the edge of flat farmland, lies beyond the glittering tower blocks of Bangkok and its multi-lane highways.”

Buncombe notes that the “temple was crowded with people paying their last respects and lining up to have their photograph taken in front of her coffin…”.

Kade died “while attending to a man with gunshot wounds who had been hit outside the temple and then carried inside and laid down at a makeshift first-aid area, located near a souvenir shop. The injured man, Kittichai, survived his injuries…. Among the people at the temple yesterday was a man who was also present last week and who said he had watched [Kade] and other volunteers attend the wounded. The man, who gave his name as Tom, claimed he had seen two soldiers located on the route of the passing light railway fire into the temple grounds. He took out his mobile phone to reveal photographs of injured people being treated inside the temple grounds.”

Prachatai has another report of a red shirt murdered and the funeral rites in Kalasin. The funeral for Akkaradej Khankaew was on 23 May, and brougth together “hundreds of red shirts from various districts of Kalasin, Sakon Nakhon and Mukdahan…”. He was another of those murdered at Wat Pathumwanaram. Akkaradej was from Nong Pue, Khao Wong District, Kalasin Province.

Akkaradej's funeral

According to the report, he had been “shot in the head, stomach and leg, and died inside the temple while helping paramedics attend to injured people, a voluntary job which he had done for over a month when he joined the red-shirt rally.”

The village head who went to Bangkok to bring back the body stated that the “autopsy certificate issued by the Forensic Department of the Police Hospital said that Akkaradej died from being hit with a hard object.  He and his friends had to argue the point, and the hospital then agreed to change the form to death from a gunshot wound to the head with the exit wound at the cheek.”

The parade

The mountains of lies associated with the red shirts and the government’s repression and suppression continue to mount. At the same time, this is creating a sense of solidarity in red shirt regions. Akkaradej’s home “was decorated with red flags. On the “afternoon of 22 May, family members and red shirts paraded Akkaradej’s photos and wreaths around Khao Wong and nearby Na Khu district to publicize his tragic death and condemn the government who ordered the crackdown.  However, the district chief asked them not to use loudspeakers, so the parade honked car horns, distributed leaflets and informed local residents through word of mouth instead.”

It is unlikely the deaths of these two red shirts will be easily forgotten.


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8 06 2010
Accounts of the dead IV: killing medics « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] of the dead IV: killing medics Readers may recall that PPT posted a story on 28 May regarding the shooting death of Kamolkade Akkahad and Akkaradej Khankaewat at Wat Pathum Wanaram on […]

8 06 2010
Accounts of the dead IV: killing medics « Politicalprisonersofthailand's Blog

[…] of the dead IV: killing medics Readers may recall that PPT posted a story on 28 May regarding the shooting death of Kamolkade Akkahad and Akkaradej Khankaewat at Wat Pathum Wanaram on […]

10 09 2010
Ordered to shoot indiscriminately? « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] readers return to PPT’s “Accounts of the Dead” series of May and June (here, here, here, here and here), all focus more on deliberate targeting of shots, sometimes by snipers. And […]

19 05 2016
6 years ago | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] several posts that linked to accounts of witnesses. We called these accounts of the dead (I, II, III, IV, […]

19 05 2016
6 years ago | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] several posts that linked to accounts of witnesses. We called these accounts of the dead (I, II, III, IV, […]

13 12 2018
“I denied all the charges” | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Day, where Khaosod reports on the arrest of Phayao Akkahad, the long-suffering mother of volunteer nurse Kamolkade Akkahad, who was “killed by military snipers inside … [the Pathum Wanaram] temple during street […]

13 12 2018
“I denied all the charges” | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Day, where Khaosod reports on the arrest of Phayao Akkahad, the long-suffering mother of volunteer nurse Kamolkade Akkahad, who was “killed by military snipers inside … [the Pathum Wanaram] temple during street […]




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