Red lawyers seek to push back payouts Victims, families say govt used them to win power. Source:BangkokPost.com
Red shirt victims of the 2010 political violence are decrying a move by their own lawyers to postpone their compensation settlements by six months. The lawyers were hired by the 111 Thai Rak Thai Foundation to represent the victims and their families. The Civil Court set March 30 to settle the damage and reparation lawsuits filed against the Abhisit Vejjajiva administration and Finance Ministry by injured United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship supporters and relatives of the dead. However, their lawyers have asked for the case to be put back to September. Tanyakamol Kamnoi, who lost her younger brother Kriangkrai Kamnoi in the April 10, 2010, clash between protesters and security officers at Kok Wua intersection in Bangkok, said: "It's already been two years without progress on either establishing the facts of my brother's death or the compensation. "Sometimes I feel hurt, thinking that the government just stepped over their corpses to obtain power."
When the Pheu Thai Party was the opposition, it used her brother's death in its calls for the Democrat-led government to take responsibility, the Roi Et woman said.
Santipong Inchan, who lost his right eye when he was shot with a rubber bullet in the same Kok Wua incident, added the court had actually suggested that negotiation on the compensation could begin right away, but the lawyers have sought a delay.
"The current government's reparation scheme is under way but without any explicit timeframe or form of payment. We seem to be left shattered, having to wait directionless under the administration we helped to install," said Mr Santipong.
The government told victims of political violence and their relatives seeking compensation to register their names by last Thursday.
If approved, each victim will a receive a compensation payout of between 4 million and 7.5 million baht.
Mr Santipong added the red shirt rank and file were stunned by the 111 Thai Rak Thai Foundation's move. The victims did not know if the lawyers would later ask for the civil lawsuits to be dropped, or if they would still proceed.
"Implicitly, we are told that we will have to pursue any further court cases on our own" Mr Santipong said.
"The core leaders will not do it on our behalf."
The foundation has filed lawsuits for damages totalling 130 million baht against the Finance Ministry, Defence Ministry, the army, former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and former deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban.
The mother of medical volunteer Kamonkade Akkahad, who was shot dead in Wat Pathum Wanaram on May 19, filed a separate complaint seeking compensation of 8.3 million baht.
Pansak Srithep, father of Samphan who was killed on May 15 near Ratchaprarop Road, and Waranit Asawasirimankong, widow of Thanuthat who was left disabled after a clash in the Bon Kai area on May 14 and who died two months ago due to complications from his injuries, also filed lawsuits seeking 7 million and 2 million baht respectively.
Last Tuesday, relatives of 20 red shirt protesters who were killed at Kok Wua intersection held a separate commemoration at Democracy Monument.
Many of them said they were appalled that the government did a no-show at the ceremony.
Suvimol Foongklinchan, mother of Terdsak, who died in the Kok Wua clash, said during the Abhisit government the then-opposition Pheu Thai was eager to remind her who the responsible party was for the death of her son.
"Now that Pheu Thai is the government, it speaks very little about this, while the Democrats and relatives of the soldiers have come forward to talk about the deaths. It is a very weird situation," she said.
Source:Bangkokpost.com Published: 16/04/2012 at 12:00 AM
See also: http://teakdoor.com/thailand-and-asia-news/106315-red-lawyers-seek-push-back-payouts.html