Victim's kin challenge unity efforts Source BangkokPost.com
The younger brother of a volunteer nurse killed during the dispersal of protesters at Wat Pathum Wanaram in May 2010 has attacked Thaksin Shinawatra's call for red shirts to sacrifice themselves for national reconciliation.
The ousted leader should not muddle the process of justice in the cases of victims of political violence with his own political problems, said Natthapat Akhad. During an April 15 speech to supporters in Siem Reap, in Cambodia, Thaksin said some red shirts might have to make sacrifices along the road to reconciliation. The younger brother of Kamolkate Akhad, the nurse who was shot dead in Wat Pathum Wanaram on May 19, 2010, questioned who would actually benefit from reconciliation.
"Right now, have politicians given priority to the public interest? I oppose reconciliation because all the political violence occurred because of politicians. They have used people as their tools," he said. "Eventually, these politicians will reconcile. Then what about the people who fought alongside them?" Mr Natthapat insisted he totally disagreed with the national reconciliation process currently being pushed for by members of the ruling Pheu Thai Party. "Thaksin said some of the red shirts had to commit sacrifices. It's not right. Having sacrificed one person in my family is already too much," he said. Mr Natthapat wants to see true reconciliation in which families of those killed during the violence are granted justice and wrongdoers are punished. Only then can an amnesty be discussed. At present the process to ensure justice has been overlooked and all concerned were trying to push for an amnesty that might benefit Thaksin, he said. Mr Natthapat said all his family members would try in every way to oppose the amnesty law.
"I am not fighting for Thaksin. I haven't been involved in politics. My sister had pure humanitarian intentions. She helped both yellow and red shirts. It's just that she was killed at a rally site of red shirt people," Mr Natthapat said. To solve political conflicts, relevant parties needed to get over Thaksin, he argued, and not let reconciliation depend on what Thaksin had done or what Thaksin wanted. Mr Natthapat has set up a group called the United Front for Democracy against National Reconciliation. The group will gather at Ratchaprasong intersection on April 28 to oppose the amnesty bill.