วัดปทุมวนาราม Bangkok. January 2014.
Wat Pathum Wanaram, วัดปทุมวนาราม, Bangkok. Founded in 1857.
Anti government protesters camp out in the grounds of a temple in Bangkok's central shopping district.
In May 2010 at this temple six civilians were shot dead as the army cleared the current government's supporters from their protest sites. At that time Suthep Thaugsuban (current leader of the People′s Committee for Absolute Democracy With the King As Head of State) was Deputy Prime Minister. Suthep has since been charged, along with the then Prime Minister, following court inquests that found Suthep's government ordered a military operation that caused unnecessary deaths to unarmed civilians.
Andrew Buncombe. The Independent. "Under Fire in Thailand"
Mark Mackinnon. The Globe and Mail. "In a Bangkok Buddhist temple, the groans of the wounded shot seeking sanctuary"
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Translated from www.prachatai3.info/journal/2010/12/32440
This document is an attempt at a close translation of a (snip) report from the Department of Special Investigations (DSI) of Thailand regarding investigations into the deaths of six civilians at Wat Pathum Wanaram in Bangkok on 19 May 2010.
Department of Special Investigations
Investigation Report Special Case No. 234/2553
Case Bureau: Bureau of Information Technology Investigations, Department of Special Investigations, Ministry of Justice
Month: November Year: 2010
Presented to: Director General, Department of Special Investigations
Case between: [NAME REDACTED]
Charges: Murder with intent
Date and time of incident: 19 May 2010, approximately 18.00 hours.
Location of incident: Wat Pathum Wanaram, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok.
Initial opinion of doctors is that all six of the deceased were killed by high-velocity bullets, having found bullet fragments in five bodies, and one body with no fragments. The complainant sent these bullet fragments to be examined at the Central Crime Lab. The six deceased are:
1. Mr. Rop Suksathit, 66, of 319/5, Moo 2, Thung Song Hong, Laksi, Bangkok
2. Mr. Atthachai Chumchan, 28, of 151/3, Tha Mai, Tha Mai, Chanthaburi
3. Ms. Kamonkate Akkhahat, 25, of 145/226, Moo 3, Khlong Nun, Lat Krabang, Bangkok
4. Mr. Mongkhon Khemthong, 37, of 3/10 Wat Pathum Wanaram Lane, Pathum Wan, Bangkok
5. Mr. Suwan Siraksi, 31, of 38/1, Moo 3, Nong Na Kham, Mueang, Udon Thani
6. Mr. Akkharadet Khankaew, 22, of 91, Moo 1, Nong Phueng, Khao Wong, Kalasin
WITNESS 4: [NAME REDACTED] testified that she is the mother of Ms. Kamonkate Akkhahat, deceased. Ms. Kamonkate was not a UDD protester. Each day in the evening Ms. Kamonkate volunteered her time providing medical aid to those injured in the UDD rallies. On 19 May 2010 at approximately 18.00 witness telephoned Ms. Kamonkate because she learned from the media that a curfew had been announced. While on the telephone to Ms. Kamonkate, witness heard intermittent loud sounds, like gunfire, and Ms. Kamonkate told witness that someone had been shot and hung up the phone. At approximately 21.00 a good citizen, who was one of the persons inside Wat Pathum Wanaram, used the telephone of Ms. Kamonkate to call and notify witness that Ms. Kamonkate had been shot and killed. On 20 May 2010 at approximately 11.30 witness came to identify the body at Police Hospital and confirmed that the deceased was in fact Ms. Kamonkate.
WITNESS 6: [NAME REDACTED] testified that he is the uncle of Mr. Akkharadet Khankaew, deceased. In March, Mr. Akkharadet had traveled to find work in Bangkok, and resided at Wat Pathum Wanaram. Witness knew that Mr. Akkharadet was not a UDD protester, but was a volunteer medic, providing medical aid for those injured in the UDD rallies, and regularly accompanied the monks in their morning alms walk in the area of the protests. On 20 May 2010 at approximately 12.00 witness learned from media reports that six persons had died inside Wat Pathum Wanaram, and one of those had skin markings similar to Mr. Akkharadet. Witness came to identify the body at Police Hospital and confirmed that the deceased was in fact Mr. Akkharadet.
WITNESS 8: [NAME REDACTED] testified that he is a volunteer medic with Ruam Duay Chuay Kan radio centre. On 19 May 2010 at approximately 17.30 witness was inside Wat Pathum Wanaram. Witness was providing medical aid for persons who had fainted. At approximately 18.00 he was notified that Ms. Kamonkate Akkhahat had been shot and killed. Witness then ran toward the first aid tent. He stopped in front of the ordination hall, approximately 50 meters from the first aid tent, and witnessed Mr. Akkharadet Khankaew get shot inside the first aid tent. Witness was unable to go to assist him because he could see soldiers firing periodically from the BTS track. The place where witness was standing is approximately 50 meters from the BTS track. At 19.00 witness and a group of protesters slowly crawled toward Mr. Akkharadet and brought him to the central area of the temple compound. Mr. Akkharadet subsequently died.
WITNESS 21: [NAME REDACTED] testified that he had been reporting news about the red shirt (UDD) rallies since 16 May 2010. On 19 May 2010 witness went to photograph events transpiring around Ratchaprasong intersection and Wat Pathum Wanaram. Witness heard loud gunfire in intervals from the direction of Siam Paragon on the ground. Witness saw people running toward Wat Pathum Wanaram in a frenzy, and saw one man fall to the ground in front of him, then get up and continue running, and fall down again next to a flyover pillar. Witness helped the man into the temple. Witness photographed the man and presented those photographs to investigators for use in the investigation. Witness later learned that the man had died. Witness heard very loud gunfire from the direction of Siam Paragon only. He did not witness any protesters in the temple shooting back [at authorities], and stated that the protesters had no weapons whatsoever.
WITNESS 22: [NAME REDACTED] testified that he was inside Wat Pathum Wanaram. On 19 May 2010 at approximately 17.40, no later than 18.00, witness saw approximately six men on the lower BTS track dressed in camouflage, wearing camouflage hats, holding rifles. Witness was shot by said men three times: Once in the chest, but it was deflected by a coin, once in the stomach, and once in the upper left leg. The men on the BTS track fired one more shot at witness but did not strike him, though witness did not know whether it struck someone else. Witness then took cover at the back of the temple.
Evidence in the case and opinion of the investigators
The investigative team have completed their investigations in this case. At this point the facts are as follows:
On 19 May 2010, at shortly after 13.00, the UDD leadership announced an end to their rally in the area of Ratchaprasong intersection, and part of the leadership surrendered themselves to authorities. They instructed all protesters to leave the area, and instructed some protesters to take shelter in Wat Pathum Wanaram Ratchaworawihan, which is near Ratchaprasong intersection, across from National Police Headquarters. Wat Pathum Wanaram was declared a Sanctuary Zone.
From the testimony of several witnesses, testimony was consistent that beginning sometime shortly after 17.30 the sound of continuous gunfire was heard from the area of the Siam BTS station, which was under the responsibility of soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division.
A volunteer nurse in the first aid tent inside the temple, as well as protesters who were arriving at the temple, came to the aid of Mr. Atthachai Chumchan. Mr. Mongkhon Khemthong, a volunteer with Poh Teck Tung [volunteer medic foundation], also came to his aid. According to witness photographs taken starting from when before Mr. Mongkhon was shot, up until when he was shot and killed while providing medical aid to Mr. Atthachai, this was the same time that a witness injured inside Wat Pathum Wanaram saw military personnel dressed in camouflage, wearing camouflage military hats, armed with rifles, shooting their guns into the area of Wat Pathum Wanaram, into the first aid tent. Ms. Kamonkate Akkhahat, who was providing medical aid to the injured inside the first aid tent, was shot and killed in the first aid tent. Mr. Akkharadet Khankaew, another volunteer medic who went to help Ms. Kamonkate in the first aid tent, was shot, and subsequently died, also in the first aid tent. In the case of Ms. Kamonkate Akkhahat and Mr. Akkharadet Khankaew, a witness shot video of the events. Investigators have included these in the investigation.
In the case of Mr. Rop Suksathit and Mr. Suwan Siraksa, also found dead inside Wat Pathum Wanaram, at this point there is no evidence to show in which location they were shot.
on 19 May 2010 at approximately 18.00 witness confirms seeing soldiers dressed in camouflage with their rifles raised standing on the Wat Pathum Wanaram side of the BTS track, and seeing them use their service rifles to shoot witness, and shoot and kill victims in Wat Pathum Wanaram, by shooting into the first aid tent inside the temple, injuring witness and killing both a volunteer nurse and a Poh Teck Tung volunteer medic, who were providing medical aid to the injured inside the first aid tent.