News / Asia

Poet’s Shooting Death Raises Worries of Rising Tensions in Thailand

A man places a portrait of Kamol Duangphasuk, who was killed a day before, as his body is prepared for a funeral at a Buddhist temple in Bangkok, Apr. 24, 2014.
A man places a portrait of Kamol Duangphasuk, who was killed a day before, as his body is prepared for a funeral at a Buddhist temple in Bangkok, Apr. 24, 2014.
The shooting death of a prominent pro-government poet in Thailand is prompting concerns that it could lead to more political violence in the country.

The daylight shooting of 45-year-old Kamol Duangphasuk outside a restaurant in the capital is the latest unsolved attack on a high-profile figure in Thailand at a time of political instability.
 
Kamol, better known by his pen name Mai Neung Kor Khuntee, was a supporter of the Red Shirt movement, which backs the government of interim prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who has been battling to stay in office. Kamol was killed in his car in the parking lot of a restaurant Wednesday afternoon.
 
FILE - Dr. Weng TojirakarnFILE - Dr. Weng Tojirakarn
x
FILE - Dr. Weng Tojirakarn
FILE - Dr. Weng Tojirakarn
​A leader of the United Front for Democracy (UDD), the core Red Shirt group, Dr. Weng Tojirakarn says it is obvious from the crime scene and the two wounds on the victim’s chest that the activist artist was assassinated at close range.

“I think that the bullet came from the pistol not very far from Mai Neung. So the assassin must be very close, not more than one meter,” he said.

Kamol had spoken out against Thailand’s harsh lese majeste law, under which those convicted can face up to 15 years in prison for defamation of the royal family.
 
The Red Shirts are often labeled as being against the country’s monarchy, something their leaders deny.
 
An army major general and anti-government figure, who runs a private hospital in Bangkok, recently set up what he calls the Rubbish Collection Organization to flush out those allegedly insulting the monarchy.
 
Dr. Weng says he sees no coincidence between the establishment of the new group and the latest killing. He calls for its founder, Dr. Rienthong Nanna, to denounce the lethal attack.
 
The UDD leader says the Red Shirts, despite their anger at being targeted, will not retaliate.
 
“We resolutely stand on the non-violent method," said Dr. Weng. "So even we do know that Mai Neung has been killed by the political conflict; we still tell our colleagues that please don’t use the violent method because we can’t overcome or solve the political conflict by violent methods.”
 
The U.S.-based Human Rights Watch non-governmental organization is calling for Thai authorities to investigate the killing and bring “whoever is responsible to justice — wherever that investigation leads.” The group’s statement also notes the recent formation of the pro-monarchy organization which calls those accused of committing lese majeste offenses “garbage” and vows to “exterminate” them.
 
Human Rights Watch says Kamol’s death “can only worsen the already tense political situation in Thailand.”

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid