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Vigil to mark 45th anniversary of Thammasat University massacre

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: Today marks the 45th anniversary of the Thammasat University massacre.

Today marks the 45th anniversary of the infamous October 6 massacre at Thammasat University in Bangkok in 1976, when 4,000 police and military forces blocked all exits from the university before firing machine guns, assault rifles, grenade launchers, and other military-grade weapons on the students after increased anti-government protests.

An alms-giving ceremony this morning started the day of remembrance. Organizations play garlands and flowers in the courtyard on the university campus named for October 6 and requested the attendees to stand in silence pay respect for the over 40 people killed in the massacre. A student from the university read the names of everyone who lost their life.

Centre of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights gave a speech calling out the amnesty given for those that took part in the attack on the students as a military force has never faced any accountability for the massacre, and how the event has been somewhat whitewashed with those students never receiving an apology or any compensation. The speaker on behalf of the human rights group had himself attended Thammasat University.

The vigil activities today drew visits from many political leaders including the former secretary-general of the National Student Centre of Thailand, the former leader of the Future Forward Party, the leader of the Move Forward Party, and prominent former red shirt leaders.

More speeches are expected to come at 4 pm from current students and academics as part of the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstrations Group, as organizers call for the day of the massacre to be remembered as a dark reminder apply the country should accept differences and work to live together peacefully. Speakers called for the reflection marking the anniversary to be a time to consider what the country’s future should be.

Read more about the massacre, where 46 people were officially killed though many involved reported over 100 casualties.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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