Work commitments limit how much I can write now, but I urge readers to pause and remember the brave young Thai student activists who, in standing up for Thai democracy, suffered horrendous abuse and death on the Thammasat University campus grounds 40 years ago today.
For those unfamiliar with the event, known as hok tulaa in Thai, some recommended links are here, here, here and here, with some footage on Youtube here. A warning that the events described and the footage is disturbingly graphic.
For reasons that are increasingly obvious the better you know Thailand, I expect official silence in Thailand around this anniversary. There are elements to this story involving democratic suppression and abusive of monopolistic state power that remain sensitive to this day. Some of that sensitivity is evident in the recent deportation of a student activist Johua Wong that was mentioned on this blog here.
Other potentially explosive elements that cannot be discussed in Thailand can be gleaned from when the reflections here are compared with silence in the contemporary coverage here. And that compulsory, unresolved silence is why the tragedy of hok tulaa is both a reminder of Thailand’s dark past and a chilling pointer to its potentially even darker future.