Further updated: UK embassy criticized

2 02 2011

Yesterday PPT posted a snippet from a Bangkok Post report that stated:  “In another development, Phayaw and Natthaputt Akkahad, mother and brother of Kamolket, a volunteer nurse who was found shot dead at Wat Pathum Wanaram after the protest dispersal operation on May 19, 2010, have failed to obtain a visa to Britain after they received an invitation from the House of Lords to discuss the controversy surrounding the death of Kamolket. The hearing in London will be held tomorrow.”

There has been a huge amount of internet traffic highly critical of the UK embassy in Bangkok, with several claims that this is the “old boys’ network” conspiring to prevent the free discussion of the murder of Kamolkade and many others. There have been several demands for the embassy to explain, and their response is usually: “We don’t comment on individual cases.” But really, what are they up to in the embassy? We thought that with the retirement of the former elite hobnobbing ambassador, things might have improved, but it seems not.

Former Ambassador Quinton Quayle (right, with Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij, in fancy dress) sucked up to Abhisit Vejjajiva from the day he was made prime minister and supported the government very strongly in all its actions. That policy seems to continue by denying access to the means of securing justice for this mother of a murdered girl.

There’s perhaps some consolation in a report in the Bangkok Post on the Truth for Reconciliation Commission claiming that it is intensifying its efforts to reveal the truth of the killings in April and May 2010: “Tomorrow’s session will hear from Phayao Akkahad, the mother of the nurse killed at Wat Pathum Wanaram.  Ms Phayao said she had been invited to give information about the mysterious death of her daughter, Kamolket.  She said that it was the first time she had been summoned to testify before the TRC.  Kamolket was among six people who were found dead at the temple after the protest crackdown on May 19.  Ms Phayao yesterday slammed the Department of Special Investigation and its investigation of the six deaths.  She said DSI investigators had questioned her when they wanted information but had not kept a record of her statements.” She adds: “I never expected anything from the DSI anyway…”.

Update 1: A footnote really. Quayle left his diplomatic post and went off to an “honorary” position with one of Thailand’s biggest companies, Thai Beverage, owned by tycoon and royalist Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi. See how The Nation reported it.

Update 2: Read Prachatai’s reproduction of the statement for the House of Lords by Santipong Injan, “who lost his right eye during the clash on 10 April last year, has been denied visa by the British Embassy in Bangkok on grounds of the lack of sufficient fund, despite an official invitation to testify before the House of Lords.”



One response

4 02 2011
Tampering with evidence | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] with evidence The Nation has a useful article that links with two PTT posts, one on Phayao and Natthaputt Akkahad  being refused visas by the UK embassy in Bangkok and the second on seemingly stalled investigations into the events of […]

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