RED-SHIRT followers and supporters today (Oct. 31) marked the 16th anniversary of the of death of taxi driver Naumthong Praiwan who drove his cab into a military tank on Sept. 30, 2006 to protest against the coup that year and later hanged himself at a footbridge in front of Thai Rath newspaper building, Matichon newspaper said.
A commemoration ceremony was held for him from 1 p.m. onwards with participants including his widow, Mrs. Boonchu Praiwan; Mr. Nattawut Saikua, director of the Pheu Thai Family; and leaders of the National United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship such as Mrs. Thida Thawornset, Dr. Weng Tojirakan and Mr. Worachai Hema, a former Pheu Thai MP for Samut Prakan.
At 1.30 p.m., four monks from Wat Theva Sunthon arrived to pray for the deceased after which wreaths were placed at this footbridge with one of them being from Thai Sarng Thai Party.
According to Wikipedia, at 6 a.m., on Saturday Sept. 30, 2006, Nuamthong drove his taxi, spray painted with the words “[CDR is] destroying the country,” and “Sacrificing life”, into an M41 Walker Bulldog tank at Bangkok’s Royal Plaza.
Nuamthong was severely injured and taken to a police station nearby. “I did it intentionally to protest the junta that has destroyed our country, and I painted all the words myself,” noted Nuamthong to reporters from his bed at Vachira Hospital.
Nuamthong was charged with damaging state property.
Authorities downplayed the incident, saying that Nuamthong was drunk and no messages were sprayed on the taxi. However, several newspapers reported on the legibility of the words painted on the car.
Akkara Thiproj, deputy spokesperson for the military junta, expressed scepticism about Nuamthong’s intentions in crashing into the tank, and claimed that “Nobodies’ ideals are so great that they would sacrifice their lives for them.”
Prayers were held and wreaths placed at a footbridge to mark the death of taxi driver Naumthong Praiwan who drove his cab into a military tank to protest the 2006 coup. Photos: Matichon
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