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Mother continues to seek justice for slain daughter

Payao

Payao

Four years after the killing of her daughter, slain nurse volunteer Kamolked Akkahad, Payao Akkahad, has vowed to continue to pursue the legal case to punish soldiers and the then head of the now-defunct Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) Suthep Thaugsuban.

Payao said the result of the criminal court's inquest last year, which suggested that the military were behind the shootings at Wat Pathum Wanaram temple which led to the deaths of six people, has given her hope.

"The six deaths at Wat Pathum Wanaram was an act of indiscriminate killing in a no-fire zone by state security officers," she said. "How can I forget and forgive when those responsible have not apologised or expressed any remorse? Thai politicians do not know how to apologise. They kill people and are not punished. We need to change this practice."

Relatives of most of the 99 people killed on both sides, like Punsak Srithet, father of 17-year-old Samapun 'Cher' Srithet, who was slain on May 15, 2010 at Rang Nam Road, have virtually abandoned hope of finding the perpetrators.

Punsak said the reason for this was because there was little to cling to after four years except vague allusions by the criminal court that soldiers fired the shots.

"Thai political history has made it clear [that no one would be held responsible]. I knew from very first day [that my son was killed] that the chance [for justice] was slim," said Punsak.

Asked if such a massacre would be repeated again today, Punsak said he thought it was unlikely. However, he believes that lesser number of deaths will continue to be caused by political conflict.

Fight "a necessity"

As for Payao, she believes that the fight for justice for her daughter is a necessary deterrent for future killings with impunity. She pins hope on the belief that the current administration will not repeat the same "mistake" as the Abhisit Vejjajiva administration back in 2010, in allowing the perpetrators to escape justice.






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