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Thammasat University Massacre, 6th October 1976. Bangkok.

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  • Thammasat University Massacre, 6th October 1976. Bangkok.


    Uploaded on 21 Jul 2009

    The 6 October 1976 Thammasat University Massacre เหตุการณ์ 6 ตุลา, was a crackdown on student protests against Thailand's right wing military government and the return of Field Marshall Thanom Kittikachorna, a military dictator, an anti-communist and Prime Minister from 1963 to 1973.

    Previously, Thanom had left for exile in the United States following student and civil demands for a constitutional government that developed into the 14 October 1973 uprising.

    Thanom returned to become a novice monk at Wat Bowonivet, a high ranking royal wat, and resultingly it all kicked off. The students were shown to have "antogonised" the ultra right wing by performing a political play that featured a mock hanging (inspired by the murder of three demonstartors in Nakhom Pathom). The pictures of the performance were doctored by the Thai press, so that it appeared as if the students were mock hanging Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn.

    The military, the police and far right paramilitarists responded by storming Thammasat University's Sanam Luang (Tha Prachan) campus to break up demonstrations, killing (officially) 40 plus students. However, the real death rate is known to be far, far higher.

    In a recent interview with Al Jazeera, the now deposed prime minister, Samak Sundravej suggested that only one student had been killed. He mocked the interviewer as being too young to remember the events, and as she was not there she was basing her ideas on "dirty histories".

    The memorial graden and sculptures sit to the right of the entrance to the Tha Prachan campus, off Sanam Luang, were each year on the anniversary of the killings memorial services are held.

    This video is quite graphic, and is edited from over two hours of other footage available on the internet. A fine documentary can be found on Gapithai's page here...

    The photographs of the monument are mine.

  • #2
    1976: A Nightmare of Lynching and Burning
    1976 ฝันร้ายของการลงประชาทัณฑ์ และ เผาทั้งเป็น



    • #3
      THAILAND: A Nightmare of Lynching and Burning
      Monday, Oct. 18, 1976

      Suddenly the nightmare that Bangkok had dreaded was happening: a wild outbreak of kicking, clubbing, shooting, lynching. Youths hurled themselves into the river to keep from being shot.

      Then the blazing finale as a heap of gasoline-soaked bodies were set afire.

      Finally, over the radio came last week's terse announcement: "The government cannot govern," said a voice.

      "To keep Thailand from falling prey to the Communists and to uphold the monarchy, this [military] council has seized power. The country is under martial law."

      The voice was that of stately, thickset Admiral Sangad Chaloryu, 61, who just two weeks earlier had retired...

      continues behind a paywall :,00.html


      • #4
        October 6 commemoration sliding down the memory hole


        • #5
          New photos of 6 Oct 1976 massacre emerge and Truth Finding.

          Vocational students were initially allies of the university students during and after the popular uprising on 14 Oct 1973, but later became estranged from them. They were organized by members of the elite to become the Red Gaurs, one of the paramilitary anti-leftist organizations, including Navaphol and the Village Scouts, which took part in the attack on 6 Oct.

          Part of the set of the photos shows a series of images of a handcuffed man being beaten and hanged under a tree.

          The man and other victims shown on the photos have yet to be identified, and if anybody can identify them, she asks them to please contact her.

          According to Vipa, the man is not Wichitchai Amornkul, pictures of whose gruesome death had long been published and seen by the public.

          Wichitchai Amornkul, 2nd year student at the Faculty of Political Science of Chulalongkorn University. He was one of the student security guards on the night of 5 Oct and morning of 6 Oct at Thammasat University.


          • #6
            Historical Record

            Brutal Thai coup
            Thursday 7 October 1976

            Thailand's military forces seized control of the country tonight after police and rightist mobs crushed a Leftwing student protest amidst shooting, lynching, and beatings, which left around 30 dead and hundreds wounded.

            Admiral Sa-ngad Chaloryu, who retired recently as Supreme Military Commander, announced in a broadcast at 7 p.m. that he was in charge of a "National Administrative Reform Council" which would oversee martial law in the country.

            Later broadcasts added: Prime Minister Seni Pramoj had been arrested and was being held in "protective custody". The national constitution, Thailand's first democratic charter, adopted in 1974, was abolished.

            All political parties were banned and no political gatherings of more than five persons would be permitted.

            All daily newspapers must stop publishing immediately. All other publications would be subject to censorship. Radio and television were taken over by the regime. Communist literature was banned.

            Merchants were forbidden from hoarding goods or raising prices.

            A 24-year old anti-Communist law was reimposed and anyone guilty of breaking it would be subject to the death penalty by a court martial.

            A midnight-to-5 a.m. curfew was imposed on Bangkok, and all vehicles entering the city from the provinces would be searched for weapons. The announcements were delivered on television by an anonymous voice over a blank screen. The various orders were interspersed by Thai marching songs.

            Admiral Sa-ngad appeared briefly on television and assured viewers that the military leaders did not want power and would "lead the country toward a form of democracy under the the future." The admiral, an arch anti-Communist, said the need for a military takeover was brought about by a group of university students who insulted Thailand's royal family and then resisted arrest "with heavy, destructive weapons used in war, with the cooperation of Vietnamese Communist terrorists."

            This was a reference to claims by police that they had found several "Vietnamese looking" youths among the 4,000 to 5,000 students they arrested this morning in a gun battle at Bangkok's Thammasat University.

            Admiral Sa-ngad's comment suggested that Thailand's relations with its neighbouring Communist states, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, were likely to deteriorate under the military regime. A number of senior Thai officers and sympathetic politicians have voiced fears that Seni's coalition Government was moving too far to the Left in order to appease the Indochinese Communists.

            The admiral made clear his and his fellow officers' fears when, announcing the takeover, he said: "This is for the survival of the country and to prevent Thailand from falling into Communist imperialism."

            Almost exactly three years ago a revolution led by university students toppled the dictatorship of Field-Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn and forced him, along with two senior cohorts, into exile.

            Ironically, it was the Field-Marshal's return to Bangkok on September 19 which was directly responsible for today's battle at Thammasat and the subsequent coup.

            The students had been demanding that the Field-Marshal, who had taken refuge as a monk in a Buddhist temple, be forced back into exile. When there was no response, the students went on strike and seized control of the university.

            On Monday night, the students staged a play that depicted the strangling last month of two Left-wing political workers by police. When photographs of the play appeared in Bangkok newspapers yesterday, readers noticed that one of the "victims" strongly resembled Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn.

            Radio stations then carried appeals by Right-wing groups to avenge this "insult."

            By dawn today, hundreds of youths responded to the appeals. With rifles, handguns, and swords, they marched to the university. There they found police officers attempting to halt the students' strike. At 6 a.m. the police entered the campus and were fired on by students.

            A number of the right wing mob captured three buses and crashed through the University gates to join the fight.

            Units of airborne, border patrol, marine, riot and other specialised police peppered the buildings with shots. Trained sharpshooters picked off individual targets. A team of airborne police fired an eight-foot long recoilless rifle, normally an anti-tank weapon. Others shot off M-79 grenade launchers.

            At no time did the police make any effort to force the students out of their sanctuaries with tear gas or other standard riot-control devices. "They were out for blood," said one western photographer.

            The firing continued for about four hours. At times it reached a deafening crescendo as policemen let off thousands of rounds. By the time the last shot was fired, police had flushed several thousand students out onto a soccer field in the centre of the campus.

            The police forced the male students to strip to the waist and discard their shoes, watches, eyeglasses and religious medallions. "They're Communists," explained one policeman who was stuffing gold Buddhist ornaments into a bag. "They're not fit to wear the Buddha's image."

            The students were made to crawl on their stomachs to the centre of the field where they were ordered to lie face down, their hands locked behind their heads. Three doctors stood by for more than two hours and watched the wounded, many of them bleeding profusely.

            "We're waiting for instructions," one said.

            Finally, at about 1 p.m., as a monsoon cloudburst fell, the last of the students were pushed on to buses and taken to a police training centre for interrogation. They were the lucky ones. The less fortunate tried to escape but fell into the hands of a several-thousand strong mob, which had gathered outside the gates.

            Two students were beaten before being strung from a tree. Then they, and two others were doused in petrol and set alight - to the cheers and applause of the mob.

            The brutality went without mention by Admiral Sa-ngad. His only reference to the violence was: "Many civilians and police were killed and wounded. The situation deteriorated, causing confusion."

            With today's battle and strident anti-communism established as the kingdom's basic guideline, where Thailand goes is now open to conjecture.

            Some observers said they feared that large numbers of the students arrested today once they are released, will "head for the hills," and join the insurgency in north-eastern Thailand.

            "I guess we all knew this had to come," said one Western ambassador, "but now that it's here, I'm afraid that this is the beginning of the end."



            • #7

              Oct 5, 2014 : As Thailand's military government continues to detain its critics, some Thais are commemorating students killed at Thammasat university on October 6, 1976. Michael Peel meets witnesses to the massacre.

              Credits: Filmed and produce by Ben Marino



              • #8

                Memories are the first victim of 'happiness'
                Kong Rithdee is Deputy Life Editor, Bangkok Post.


                • #9
                  1976 Student Massacre Remembered in 'Politics-free' Commemoration
                  06 October 2014


                  Official records says 46 protesters died on 6 October 1976 when heavily-armed police officers and paramilitary forces stormed Thammasat University to disperse thousands of leftist student activists who were staging a peaceful rally there. However, historians believe the actual death toll was much higher. That evening, the military launched a coup to "restore order."

                  Per orders from Thammasat's administrators, this year's commemorative ceremony lacked the usual academic seminar about the history and impact of the incident.

                  However, a number of activists managed to make some political remarks during their commemorative speeches this morning. Suthachai Yimprasert, a history professor at Chulalongkorn University and a co-organiser of the ceremony, said he wondered if Thailand has learned any lessons from the tragic events in 1976.

                  "There are two significant events on 6 October 1976: there was a crackdown on students, and there was a military coup," said Suthachai, who was also a student activist at the time of the massacre. "I can't believe that these events kept happening, 38 years afterwards. There have been three coups since that day."

                  Suthachai added that October 1976 was by no means the last instance of political bloodshed in Thailand, as evident by the events of May 1992 and May 2010. He said he fears "similar tragedies may continue to happen in the future."

                  Weng Tojirakarn, a core leader of the Redshirt movement, gave a speech calling on the military junta to repeat martial law and "honour" its promise of a peaceful transition to democratic rule.

                  "Please honour your word. Don't forget that people are the owners of the country," Mr. Weng said. "I also would like the junta to consider lifting martial law, so that people will have the freedom to express their opinions about how the country should be reformed."

                  Jinda Thongsin, whose son Jarupong Thongsin was killed in massacre, said he is sad to have lost his son, but has found solace to know that Jarupong "died for his country."

                  Police officers quietly observed the ceremony from a distance and did not interfere with the commemoration.

                  October 6 massacre remains a sensitive subject in Thailand, largely due to the involvement of staunch royalists in the incident. For months prior to the massacre, a number of right-wing politicians, military officers, and media agencies accused the student activists of being "Communists" who were plotting to overthrow the monarchy.

                  No official has ever been prosecuted for the massacre. In 1978 the government issued amnesty for both perpetrators and victims of the incident.

                  According to student activists at Thammasat University's Lampang Campus in northern Thailand, the military ordered them not to hold any ceremony - political or religious - to commemorate the 1976 massacre, Prachatai reported.

                  The students reportedly received a formal letter from a regional military unit telling them that the event risked "sowing divisions" in the society.



                  • #10
                    Thanks, Mid.

                    Some of us haven't forgotten, even if it's ben deliberately wiped from most memory and protocol.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mid View Post

                      Memories are the first victim of 'happiness'
                      Kong Rithdee is Deputy Life Editor, Bangkok Post.

                      The force-fed happiness will only make things worse.

                      Someone gets it.

                      We should not allow the Thammasat massacre however to obscure such other niceties as the red drums, village scouts, tak bi, and 'crackdown' here in the Land of Smiles.


                      • #12
                        Student Activist Decries University's 'Silencing' of 1976 Massacre
                        06 October 2014



                        • #13
                          The Thai Junta Embraces Communists



                          • #14
                            1976: A Nightmare of Lynching and Burning
                            1976 ฝันร้ายของการลงประชาทัณฑ์ และ เผาทั้งเป็น

                            Posted on October 6, 2014 by admin

                            THAILAND: A Nightmare of Lynching and Burning

                            Violence and the Military Coup in Thailand

                            October 6 banners at Thammasat University

                            1976: A sea of blood

                            YouTube: 6 Oct 1976

                            2003: New website gives gruesome details of October 6 bloodbath

                            Memories of a massacre, cautionary tale for today



                            • #15
                              Military summon students commemorating 1976 student massacre
                              Thu, 08/10/2015

                              Military officers summoned university students in northern Thailand for a discussion after they commemorated the 1976 student massacre, saying that the event was political incitement.

                              According to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), military officers from the 37th Army Division in the northern province of Chiang Rai on Tuesday, 6 October 2015, contacted Chiang Rai Rajabhat University, requesting to have words with all the students who commemorated the 1976 student massacre.

                              The officers asked university staff to inform the students to come for a discussion at the 37th Army Division Base on Wednesday. After negotiations, the students told the officers that two representatives from the group would go see the officers.

                              At 9:30 am, Thichanon Pitakpracha and Somchai Kuwattanasakul, two representatives from the group, went to the military base to meet the officers.

                              They reported that at the base the Deputy Commander of the 37th Army Division, 3-4 other military officers, and a policeman were present during the talks.

                              The officers asked in detail about the reasons why they decided to commemorate the 1976 student massacre and if the group has links with the anti-junta student activist groups in Bangkok and in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen.

                              The two students mentioned that the officers told them that certain messages that which attached on a board with post-its during the event to commemorate the student massacre on Tuesday morning are political incitements.

                              The officers told them that they will monitor the activities of the students closely before letting them go without having to sign any document after about an hour of discussion.

                              The 1976 student massacre on 6 October 1976 was a violent attack on students and protesters at Thammasat University while the students were demonstrating against the return of the former military dictator, Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn. By the official count, forty-six people died in the attack, during which protesters were shot and beaten, and their bodies mutilated. However, many unofficial sources claim that more than a hundred were killed.

                              Students of Chiang Rai Rajabhat University commemorating the 1976 student massacre at their campus on 6 October 2015
                              (Picture courtesy of TLHR)