Poet's killing makes red-shirt leaders insecure

national May 03, 2014 00:00

By Pravit Rojanaphruk
The Nation

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The killing of red-shirt poet and anti-lese majeste law activist Kamol Duangphasuk - better known as 'Maineung Kor Kuntee' - has made prominent pro-government red shirts insecure about their safety.

But while some are fatalistic about possible attempts to kill them, most agree there is little that can be done to mitigate the risks. 
Sombat Boonngam-anong, leader of the Red Sunday Group, said he was making changes to his daily routine in order to avoid becoming a possible target for what he believes is an ongoing attempt on the lives of key red-shirts. 
To protect himself, Sombat now goes to public venues less often, refrains from observing People’s Democratic Reform Committee rallies in person and is watchful about whether he is being followed. 
Other red-shirt leaders have beefed up their personal security, but Sombat says he will not resort to hiring a bodyguard. 
“I won’t be carrying a gun or a knife either and will not let this incident change the way I lead my life,” he said. 
Even though the police have so far denied that Kamol’s killing was politically motivated, Sombat firmly believes the poet was murdered by political opponents.
“What else [could be the cause] if not politics?” Sombat asked.
Red-shirt lawyer Anon Nampha has also said he feels insecure after Kamol’s murder last month, and he believed many key red shirts were at risk despite the Army’s insistence that there is no blacklist and that Kamol was never on any such list. 
Like Sombat, Anon conceded he was more alert about a possible attacker trailing him, but ultimately, he said, there was little one could do if someone was determined to kill you. 
The same ethos is shared by red-shirt Voice TV host and writer Lakkana Panwichai, who’s widely known by her alias “Kamphaka”. She, however, is refusing to make changes to her daily routine, saying if someone wants to kill her, then they will likely be successful. 

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