News reports (apparently, I had not seen any) say that three to five cargo containers ‘stuffed with human remains’ have been found in the Gulf of Thailand. Activists and relatives of those who were killed or are still missing after the Black May of 1992, when pro-democracy protestors were gunned down by the military, again called upon the government for a thorough investigation of the events and prosecution of those who ordered them. Yesterday was the 17th Anniversary of the state-ordered murders.
Local trawlers are reported as having brought up human skulls. Of course, the remains need not belong to the Black May missing people as there have been so many uninvestigated murders and massacres in modern Thai history – we still have no proper evidence as to how many were killed or wounded by gunfire during the military’s use of force this Songkran and that was during events that were quite well-covered by modern media techniques.
Even so, activists called for a proper investigation to take place. They also railed against the continuing use of double standards in Thai society:
“The person who ordered the mass killing has not been punished, nor have the others involved … who still are living a happy life, playing golf, sipping wine and making comments to the media.” The official number of Black May dead was 38, but the figure reported to the United Nations by a committee representing victims was 357, said Adul Khiewboriboon, who heads the committee.
There is very little chance the current government, given how it owes its power to the military and given the shameful way PM Abhisit behaved when news about the Rohingya refugees emerged, ever investigating these issues properly.
Justice becomes even less likely when the state uses bodies such as the National Human Rights Commission as opportunities to protect the dirty secrets of the elite.