Updated: Remembering 6 October

3 02 2012

PPT thought readers might be interested in this post by PPT a year or so ago. Given the fanning of hatred and threats associated with lese majeste and Nitirat, it seems to require re-posting:

The remembrance of the horrid events of 6 October 1976 has come around again. Readers might be interested to know about the commemoration at Thammasat University.

In that story, for some, the events at Rajaprasong and 6 October were brought together: “Prab Rakchailai, 19-year-old secretary general of Thammasat Community Against Dictatorship, said his group has joined the  Ratchaprasong, Sept 19 coup  and Oct  6, 1976 commemoration as it would like to remind   society of this hidden side of the history.” It is uncanny how state officials who murder citizens never seem to be brought to justice.

Readers are also reminded of articles about this tragic event that we have on our site with permission from Critical Asian Studies. These articles are from the Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars Special Supplement on “October 1976: The Coup in Thailand” as it appeared in Volume 9, Number 3, July-September 1977:

  • Cover, contents and introduction  to the Supplement by Jayne Werner (bcas_9-3-1977_cover_intro)
  • Puey Ungphakorn, “Violence and the Military Coup in Thailand” with an Introduction by David Millikin (bcas_9-3-1977_puey)
  • Ben Anderson, “Withdrawal Symptoms: Social and Cultural Aspects of the October 6 Coup” (bcas_9-3-1977_anderson)
  • E. Thadeus Flood, “The Vietnamese refugees in Thailand: Minority Manipulation in Counterinsurgency” (bcas_9-3-1977_flood)
  • Carl A. Trocki, “Boonsanong Punyodyana: Thai Socialist and Scholar, 1936-1976″ including an interview with Boonsanong from the Far Eastern Economic Review (bcas_9-3-1977_trocki)
  • Also of interest is Puey Ungphakorn’s a “letter” written after he was chased out of Thailand during the events of 6 October 1976. It was published as a pamphlet by The Union of Democratic Thais in the U.S.

Readers will also be interested in a series of YouTube videos on the event. Start here and here and for the latter, look for several parts. Be aware that they are graphic and violent. For 1973-76 see here.

Update: PPT notes the seeming contradiction on the part of Thammasat University administrators in announcing a ban on Nitirat from activities on campus. Double standards and prejudice were mentioned in an earlier post. Oddly, within a day or so of this announcement, “a group of current and former students from the faculty of journalism and mass communications” held an anti-Nitirat rally.

A Nation photo

Even more bizarre than the fact of a double standard, was the choice by these royalists to gather:

at the monument of Thammasat’s founder Pridi Banomyong to announce their opposition to Nitirat. The group, who called themselves “Journalism Faculty against Nitirat”, were led by film director Yuthana Mukdasanit.

We cite more in detail to show the nature of the rally:

Yuthana read a statement that the monarchy had become a target of people seeking to overthrow the institution and that allowing amendment to or removal of Article 112 was to pave the way for them to achieve the goal. The group said they agreed that Nitirat’s campaign was not purely academic, but rather politically motivated with the hidden goal of undermining the monarchy.

The anti-Nitirat group also made a five-point call for all elements in society to come out against any efforts to bring down the monarchy. Their petition was handed to deputy rector Pornchai Trakulwaranont, who accepted the document on behalf of the rector…. The group members, facing Siriraj Hospital across the river where His Majesty the King has been staying, also sang the Royal Anthem before leaving.

While this is in the context of a bit of a backdown by the university authorities, it is clear that double standards are at work.

Thammasat administrators need to forget ideas about limiting debate and discussion and be even-handed. That doesn’t mean banning every political group but being open.


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6 10 2014
6 October and the military coup | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] PPT’s 2012 remembrance and another here […]

6 10 2014
6 October and the military coup | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] PPT’s 2012 remembrance and another here […]

7 10 2015
On 6 October 1976 | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] PPT’s 2012 remembrance and another here […]




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