30-baht pay-out for stabbing victim

BANGKOK: Stabbing victim Pairat Juntub knew he was entitled to compensation, but he was staggered yesterday at the sum he got from the government.

Mr Pairat has the dubious distinction of receiving the lowest amount ever given to a crime victim.

“I got 30 baht (approx 86 cents in USD),” Pairat said. “I was speechless when I saw the amount.”

But Pairat only had to wait five years to get the money. He was stabbed in the body in 2004, while unsuccessfully trying to save his older brother from an attack. His brother died and he himself was rushed to a nearby hospital where he received treatment and spent the night under observation for his wounds.

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He said a relative helped him to fill in a form for compensation from the Rights and Liberties Protection Department.

“I thought I would receive about 1,000 to 2,000 baht”, Pairat said. “Had I known the compensation would be so little, I would not have gone to pick it up. My travel costs were more than that.”

Pairat was awarded just 30 baht in compensation because his medical treatment had been provided under the Thaksin government’s 30-baht medical scheme, which now appears to be in financial distress.

The director general of the Rights and Liberties Department, Suwana Suwanjutha, revealed yesterday that her department had [quietly] lowered pay-outs lately in a bid to encourage criminal victims to claim compensation from their attackers.

An informed source said that about 100 victims of crime, whose requests for compensation had already been approved, were having to wait for their money from the government. “These 100 victims will altogether get 9 million baht,” the source said.

Suwana said that between 500 and 700 victims had sought help from her department last year.

“We are reviewing their requests,” she said, adding that the department was now seeking 60 million baht in the mid-year budget from the Cabinet.

“We have already run out of money allocated for the 2009 fiscal year. We have spent the money compensating victims,” she said.

The department was given 200 million for the 2009 fiscal year.

Thailand News
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