Target: Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand
Goal: Urge Thai authorities to investigate murder of prominent political activist Kamol Duangphasuk
Thai activists are mourning the death of poet and political activist Kamol Duangphasuk, who was struck by two bullets while he sat in his car at a restaurant parking lot. Kamol, known by his pseudonym Mai Nueng Kor Kunthee, was a powerful poet who joined other Thai political activists in their criticism of the monarchy. Called “Red Shirts,” these activists organize gatherings and peaceful rallies that call into question the validity of lese majeste (criticism of the monarchy) laws and work to advocate for the release of detained activists who have been prosecuted under the unjust monarchy.
Duangphasuk’s death marks a new chapter in the tension-filled political situation that has plagued Thailand for some time now. The “Red Shirt Poet” vehemently opposed Thailand’s violent measures against the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, a political activist group that fights for freedom of expression, speech and democracy, and constantly criticized the monarchy for its despotism and unjustness.
Unfortunately, Duangphasuk isn’t the only activist to fall victim to political turmoil. Somsak Jeamteerasakul, a professor of history at Thammasat University, was shot at and had homemade bombs thrown at his home for his outspoken criticism of the monarchy. Law professor Worachet Pakeerut, who demanded that the Thai government amend the lese majeste law, was assaulted by masked assailants similar to the villains who took Duangphasuk’s life.
With a history of apathy towards crimes against political activists, Thailand’s monarchy has proven to be the ultimate threat to the safety and prosperity of anti-lese majeste activists. Kamol’s murder heightens the fear felt by others who desperately oppose the monarchy, seek to advocate the abolishment of lese majeste law, and envision a more parliamentary government. Thai authorities also have a responsibility to uphold citizens’ safety regardless of Kamol’s activist involvement. Justice deserves to be served for his untimely and vicious death.
By signing this petition, you’ll urge Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to investigate the mysterious assassination of Kamol Duangphasuk and to rethink the relevance of draconian lese majeste laws in today’s society.
Dear Prime Minister Shinawatra,
The unthinkably violent and preposterous death of prominent poet and political activist Kamol Duangphasuk should be of great interest to yourself and Thai authorities. Despite Duangphasuk’s criticism of the monarchy’s lese majeste laws, his murderer deserves to be prosecuted accordingly and justice to be rightfully served in lieu of his extermination. The archaicness of lese majeste laws seek to divide Thailand even further as the country endures deep political divisions, shifting beliefs and perpetuates a hostile political landscape where activists and government officials brutally attack each other out of ignorance and obstinacy.
As the world view progresses, continuing to uphold lese majeste laws hurts the people of Thailand. You cannot expect everyone to uphold the same beliefs, especially when it comes matters of politics. I urge you to investigate the prejudiced homicide of Kamol Duangphasuk and call into question the legitimacy of lese majeste laws in building a modernized and politically forward-thinking country.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Takeaway via Wikimedia Commons