6 October 1976 Massacre
The Thammasat University Massacre, or Massacre of 6 October 1976 (เหตุการณ์ 6 ตุลา), was an attack on students and protesters that occurred on the campus of Thammasat University
Thammasat University
Thammasat University , or in brief TU , is Thailand's second oldest university. Officially established on 27 June 1934, the university was originally named by founder Pridi Banomyong, University of Moral Science and Politics , reflecting the political fervor of the time...

 and at Sanam Luang
Sanam Luang
Sanam Luang is an open field and public square in front of Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand. Sanam Luang is located in the Phra Nakhon district, the historic center of Bangkok....

 in Bangkok
Bangkok is the capital and largest urban area city in Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep , meaning "city of angels." The full name of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom...

. Students from various universities were demonstrating against the return to Thailand of Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn
Thanom Kittikachorn
Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn was a military dictator of Thailand. A staunch anti-Communist, Thanom oversaw a decade of military rule in Thailand from 1963 to 1973, until public protests which exploded into violence forced him to step down...

, a former military ruler. By the official count, forty-six people died in the attack, during which protesters were shot, beaten and their bodies mutilated.

After Thanom was replaced by a civilian prime minister
Sanya Dharmasakti
Sanya Dharmasakti was the 12th Prime Minister of Thailand.Professor Sanya Dharmasakti was one of the most influential political figures in Thailand...

 in October 1973, an army faction headed by Major-General Pramarn Adireksarn began plotting a return to military rule. Right-wing paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 groups were armed and trained and a crackdown on left-wing activists was prepared. King Bhumibol was a notable supporter of the paramilitary groups, a situation that has been described as "royal vigilantism." The Communist takeover of Indochina
French Indochina
French Indochina was part of the French colonial empire in southeast Asia. A federation of the three Vietnamese regions, Tonkin , Annam , and Cochinchina , as well as Cambodia, was formed in 1887....

 in 1975 at the end of the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 convinced many that Thailand could be the next communist target and that the nation's unruly left-wing students were aiding the enemy.

The day before the massacre
A massacre is an event with a heavy death toll.Massacre may also refer to:-Entertainment:*Massacre , a DC Comics villain*Massacre , a 1932 drama film starring Richard Barthelmess*Massacre, a 1956 Western starring Dane Clark...

, a photo of a mock hanging by Thammasat demonstrators was published in the Bangkok press. To many, the students in the photo appeared to be hanging the Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn in effigy. In response, outraged paramilitary forces gathered outside the university that evening.

Lieutenant-General Chumphon Lohachala, deputy director of the national police
Royal Thai Police
The Royal Thai Police are the national police of Thailand.-About:Primary responsibility for the maintenance of public order through enforcement of the kingdom's laws was exercised by the Thailand National Police Department , a subdivision of the Ministry of Interior...

, ordered an attack in the morning and authorized free fire
Free-fire zone
A free-fire zone in U.S. military parlance is a fire control measure, used for coordination between adjacent combat units. The definition used in the Vietnam war by US troops may be found in field manual FM 6-20:- Free-fire zones in the Vietnam War :...

 on the campus. A junta
Military junta
A junta or military junta is a government led by a committee of military leaders. The term derives from the Spanish language junta meaning committee, specifically a board of directors...

 headed by the defense minister, Admiral Sa-ngad Chaloryu, seized power immediately after the massacre. The membership of the junta was more moderate than that of Pramarn's faction and the relationship between the factions remains poorly understood. The junta appointed Tanin Kraivixien
Tanin Kraivixien
Tanin Kraivixien or Thanin Kraivixien was the prime minister of Thailand between 1976 and 1977. Tanin is a son of Hae and Pa-ob Kraivixien, and is of Chinese-Thai descent. Tanin studied law at Thammasat University, graduating in 1948. He then went to the London School of Economics to continue with...

, a hard-line anti-communist and a royal favorite, as prime minister
Prime Minister of Thailand
The Prime Minister of Thailand is the head of government of Thailand. The Prime Minister is also the chairman of the Cabinet of Thailand. The post has existed since the Revolution of 1932, when the country became a constitutional monarchy....


People power establishes a democracy

Prior to 1973, Thailand for several decades had had a military dominated government with King Bhumibol Adulyadej serving as a ceremonial head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

. Student demonstration
Demonstration (people)
A demonstration or street protest is action by a mass group or collection of groups of people in favor of a political or other cause; it normally consists of walking in a mass march formation and either beginning with or meeting at a designated endpoint, or rally, to hear speakers.Actions such as...

s on 14 October 1973 demanding a new constitution led to the "Three Tyrants" — Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn
Thanom Kittikachorn
Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn was a military dictator of Thailand. A staunch anti-Communist, Thanom oversaw a decade of military rule in Thailand from 1963 to 1973, until public protests which exploded into violence forced him to step down...

, Field Marshal Praphat Charusathien, and Col. Narong Kittikachorn — fleeing the country and leaving it leaderless. The prestige of the king was greatly enhanced when he appeared to side with the demonstrators by appointing Sanya Dharmasakti
Sanya Dharmasakti
Sanya Dharmasakti was the 12th Prime Minister of Thailand.Professor Sanya Dharmasakti was one of the most influential political figures in Thailand...

, the highly regarded chancellor of Thammasat University, as prime minister. Although widely interpreted as a royal endorsement of democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

, the king was motivated mainly by the need to restore public order
Public order crime
In criminology, public-order crime is defined by Siegel as "...crime which involves acts that interfere with the operations of society and the ability of people to function efficiently", i.e. it is behaviour that has been labelled criminal because it is contrary to shared norms, social values, and...

, since police had shot and killed 75 demonstrators. He remained wary of popular passions and began developing ties with anti-communist leaders. The student leftists, meanwhile, grew critical of the army's counterinsurgency campaign and even accused it of committing atrocities and blaming them on the communists. In December 1974, coup plotters brought Thanom back to Thailand, but he left almost immediately as public opinion was solidly opposed to a return of military rule at this time.

An elected, parliamentary government
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 under Prime Minister M.R. Seni Pramoj
Seni Pramoj
Mom Rajawongse Seni Pramoj was three times the prime minister of Thailand and a politician in the Democrat Party. A member of the Thai royal family, he was a descendant of King Rama II.-Biography:...

, leader of the center-right Democrat Party
Democrat Party (Thailand)
The Democrat Party is Thailand's oldest political party and was the main coalition government party of the 23rd House of Representatives of Thailand. The Democrat Party's current leader is Abhisit Vejjajiva, incumbent opposition leader and former Prime Minister. The party upholds a conservative...

, was established in February 1975. As there was no clear majority in parliament, the government was politically unstable, with Seni replaced in April by his more liberal brother M.R. Kukrit Pramoj
Kukrit Pramoj
Mom Rajawongse Kukrit Pramoj was a Thai politician and scholar. He was Speaker of the House of Representatives of Thailand 1973-1974 and was the thirteenth Prime Minister of Thailand, serving in office from 1975-1976.- Early years:Of royal descent, M.R...

, who led the center-left Social Action Party
Social Action Party
- History :The Social Action Party was formed by the more liberal members of the Democrat Party in 1974 under the leadership of Kukrit Pramoj. After Kukrit resigned the office of the party leader in December 1985, the former minister of foreign affairs and deputy party leader, Siddhi Savetsila, led...

. An international economic downturn and the rise of student activism led to more strikes and farmer protests.

Anti-Communists prepare a crackdown

The communist takeover of South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

 following the Fall of Saigon
Fall of Saigon
The Fall of Saigon was the capture of Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, by the People's Army of Vietnam and the National Liberation Front on April 30, 1975...

 in April 1975, and in particular the seizure of power in Laos by the communist Pathēt Lao
Pathet Lao
The Pathet Lao was a communist political movement and organization in Laos, formed in the mid-20th century. The group was ultimately successful in assuming political power after the Laotian Civil War. The Pathet Lao were always closely associated with Vietnamese communists...

 in June, had a great effect on Thai public opinion. Many feared Thailand would be the next target of the Communists, and felt that left-wing activists were aiding the enemy. In August, Bangkok police went on a rampage through the Thammasat campus, a rehearsal for the later massacre. The abolition of the Laotian monarchy and the impresionment of the royal family in December 1975 shocked King Bhunibol and convinced him of the need for a crackdown on the Thai radical left. A military coup was impossible as long as Kukrit was backed by army chief General Boonchai Bamroongpong, a protégé of General Krit Srivara
Krit Srivara
General Krit Srivara was a military officer of the Royal Thai Army, a member of the Thai Cabinet, and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army during the violent crackdown on democracy protesters on 14 October 1973...

, a popular hero because of his role in the events of October 1973.

January 1976 was a month of upheaval, strikes and gigantic rallies that left the prime minister without a parliamentary majority, This convinced many formerly constitutionalist army officers that a coup might be necessary to restore stability. An increase in the price of rice provoked a general strike. Kukrit capitulated to the demands of the unions, and the right wing was outraged. A rally of 15,000 organized by the paramilitary group Nawapol and Defense Minister Pramarn demanded Kukrit turn power over to the military. The rally was led by the controversial Buddhist monk Kittivudho Bhikkhu, who bizarrely had stated that killing Communists was not a sin. A group of liberal MPs from the Democrat Party broke with the ruling coalition and joined with the left-wing opposition. Boonchai vetoed the idea of a left-leaning ruling coalition, forcing Kukrit to dissolve parliament and schedule an election for April 4. This was too close a call even for moderate army officers. The Laotian example of a left-leaning coalition government being taken over by communist was still fresh. Admiral Sa-ngad, the supreme commander of the armed forces, submitted plans for a coup. (The supreme commander outranks the army chief, but the position is less influential.) According to Paul Handley, the king replied the time was not appropriate. However, the king ssaid he thought Tanin Kraiwichien, a former Supreme Court judge and a right-wing radio host, would be the best choice for prime minister if a coup should become necessary.

In contrast to the Krit/Sa-ngad clique, Pramarn's group included plotters who had never completely accepted parliamentary government or the ouster of Field Marshal Thanom: right-wing Democrats, Chart Thai Party
Chart Thai Party
Thai Nation Party , also known as Chart Thai, was a conservative political party in Thailand. It was dissolved by the Constitutional Court of Thailand on December 2, 2008, along with the People's Power Party and the Matchima party, for having violated electoral laws in the Thai general election, 2007...

 members, and officers of the Internal Security Operations Command
Internal Security Operations Command
The Internal Security Operations Command is a unit of the Thai military devoted to national security issues. It was responsible for suppression of leftist groups during the 1970s and 1980s during which it was implicated in numerous atrocities against activists and civilians. The modern ISOC was...

 (ISOC). The two coup plots would advance separately over the next few months, a re-emergence of the Krit vs Thanom army factionalism of 1973.

Pramarn's Chart Thai Party used the slogan "Right kill left" to contest the April election. There were 30 murders associated with this election. The Democrat Party, backed by both Krit and the U.S. Embassy, won over 40 percent of the seats, allowing party leader Seni to return as prime minister. Kukrit's Social Action Party went into opposition, while the left-wing parties faced almost total rejection. Krit died unexpectedly of a heart attack on April 28, 1976, just one week after being named defense minister for the Seni government. He was succeeded by General Tawich Senivansa, a member of Pramarn's clique. Since the defense minister would select the new army commander when Boonchai retired in five more months, the position was critical. In August, Tawich arranged for Field Marshal Praphat to make a brief trip to Thailand to test public opinion. Based on the reaction, Pramarn decided to bring back Thanom in hopes of provoking demonstrations that could be used as a pretext for a coup. Seni attempted to head off further plotting by removing Tawich as defense minister. Samak Sundaravej
Samak Sundaravej
Samak Sundaravej was a Thai Chinese politician who briefly served as the Prime Minister of Thailand and Minister of Defense in 2008, as well as the leader of the People's Power Party in 2008.-Early life and family:...

, the sharp-tongued, coup-plotting deputy interior minister, harshly criticized Seni for this move in an unparliamentary outburst. Samak's own dismissal followed on September 23.

Order of battle

Several right-wing
Right-wing politics
In politics, Right, right-wing and rightist generally refer to support for a hierarchical society justified on the basis of an appeal to natural law or tradition. To varying degrees, the Right rejects the egalitarian objectives of left-wing politics, claiming that the imposition of equality is...

The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

 groups played major roles as perpetrators of the Thammasat student massacre. These groups were armed and trained by the army and by the Border Patrol Police beginning in late 1974 in preparation for a crackdown. Paul Handley, author of The King Never Smiles
The King Never Smiles
The King Never Smiles is an unauthorized biography of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej by Paul M. Handley, a freelance journalist who lived and worked as a foreign correspondent in Thailand. It is published by Yale University Press and was released in 2006...

, a controversial biography of the king, describes the situation as "royal vigilantism". Thai Marxist writer Giles Ji Ungpakorn compared these groups to the fascist paramilitary groups of 1930s Europe. (Compare also to the Black Hundreds of Tsarist Russia.)

Nawapol was founded in 1974 by Wattana Kiewvimol and used the slogan "Nation-Religion-Monarchy". The name also refers to King Bhumibol, the ninth king of the Chakri
Chakri may refer to:* Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, King of Thailand from 1782 to 1809* The Chakri Dynasty, the royal house of Thailand* Chakri , a form of folk music in Kashmir* Chakri , Tollywood music director...

 dynasty. This secretive group had about 50,000 members in mid-1975. The group received covert military assistance from ISOC and conducted advanced military training for its members at Jittiphawan College, a Buddhist seminary in Chonburi Province founded by the rightwing monk Kittivudho. This was said to include training in assassination, and the killing of a number of left-wing activists was attributed to Nawapol. Tanin, the post-coup prime minister, was a senior member of this group.

The Red Gaur  was founded in 1974 by Special Colonel Sudsai Hasadin, an ISOC officer.Sudsai was minister to the office of the prime minister in 1981-1983.http://www.cabinet.thaigov.go.th/eng/cab_42.htm In mid-1975, it numbered 25,000 members, mainly vocational students, a group which had played a major part in the demonstrations against Field Marshal Thanom, but had now broken with the leftist students over their apparent embrace of communism. The Red Gaur was Nawapol's youth division. Red is the colour of the former Thai national flag and is considered to represent a patriotism on the present banner. A gaur
The gaur , also called Indian bison, is a large bovine native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. The species is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1986 as the population decline in parts of the species' range is likely to be well over 70% over the last three generations...

 is a kind of wild buffalo. The group's slogan proclaimed it to be the "Anti-Communist Imperialism United Front". Like the SA
-Organizations:* S.A. , a type of corporation in various countries* Salvation Army, a Christian denomination founded by William Booth* Sewickley Academy, a private school in the United States...

 in Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 in the 1930s, Red Gaur members provoked fights with left-wing activists and trade unionists. In February 1976, Red Gaurs threw bombs at a leftist protest, killing four students. At a highly publicized event, the king test-fired Red Gaur weapons.

The Volunteer Defense Corps or VDC (the Or Sor, also called the Village Scouts ,) formed in 1954 to provide law and order and emergency or natural disaster response, was expanded in 1974 when ISOC gained control,. It was extended to urban areas to counter left-wing political activism. A member of the royal family (often the queen) would present the identifying VDC kerchief to each village scout. At one point, 1 in every 5 Thai adults was a member of the Village Scouts.

When the leftist demonstrators took over the Thammasat University campus, the main organizations coordinating the activities were the National Student Centre and the Federation of Trade Unions.

Thanom returns

Samak, a confident of the queen, flew to Singapore and told former military ruler Thanom that the palace had approved his return to Thailand. When Thanom returned on September 19, he denied political motive and stated that he came to Thailand only to do penance at his father's deathbed. He was ordained as a monk at Wat Bovornives, a temple closely associated with the royal family. The ceremony was illegally closed to avoid challenges to the ordination and the temple was ringed by the Red Gaur. When the king made a public visit to see Thanom, Prime Minister Seni responded by offering his resignation. This was rejected by parliament. Students protested Thanom's return at Sanam Luang in Bangkok on 30 September, but protests soon moved to the nearby campus of Thammasat University. Hoping to avoid a repetition of the police rampage that occurred the previous year, the university had canceled examinations and closed the campus. However, demonstrators broke down the gates to occupy the campus and stage a sit in. Forty-three labor unions demanded that the government expel Thanom or face a general strike.

Mock hanging provokes outrage

A photo of a mock hanging performed by the demonstrators at Thammasat was published on October 5 in two Bangkok newspapers, the English-language Bangkok Post
Bangkok Post
The Bangkok Post is a broadsheet, English-language daily newspaper published in Bangkok, Thailand. The first issue was sold on August 1, 1946. It had four pages and cost 1 baht, a considerable amount at the time....

and the vernacular Dao Sayam. Because the student actor who played the victim bore a certain resemblance to the crown prince, the demonstrators were accused of hanging in effigy a member of the royal family. It is sometimes claimed the photo was doctored to make the student resemble the crown prince, but all known surviving copies are identical.The disputed image may be viewed here. In reality, the mock hanging protested the murder of two trade unionists by police in Nakhon Pathom on September 25. On the army's Tank Corps Radio, Utharn Sanitwongs and other announcers accused the students of lèse majesté
Lèse majesté
Lese-majesty is the crime of violating majesty, an offence against the dignity of a reigning sovereign or against a state.This behavior was first classified as a criminal offence against the dignity of the Roman republic in Ancient Rome...

 and chanted "kill them" and "kill the communists." Although the mock hanging has been the object of much attention, the organizers of the massacre would have found an alternative pretext had it not occurred. By the evening of 5 October, there were 4,000 royalist paramilitaries at the gates of Thammasat, where about 2,000 students were holding a sit in.

Police attack campus

At a cabinet meeting held early on October 6, Pramarn, leader of the Chart Thai Party and deputy prime minister, stated that the time had come to end the student movement once and for all. At about 5am the paramilitaries began to fire into the campus using military weapons. The Border Patrol Police shut all exits at about 7am. A dump truck smashed through the main gate and police rushed in at about 11am. Several students who were armed opened fire, but they were quickly overcome. Although the students pleaded for a ceasefire, Chumphon, the police commander, authorized free fire on the campus. Students who tried to surrender were forced to lie on the ground. Several were beaten to death and then hanged. Those who attempted to escape by jumping into the Chaophraya River were shot at from naval vessels. Wimolwan, a nursing student, was shot dead while trying to swim to safety. The attack lasted for several hours. Time described the event as a "A nightmare of lynching and burning":
About a thousand demonstrators were taken prisoner and humiliated by being stripped to the waist (though females were allowed to keep their bras on), made to crawl, or kicked. Female students allegedly were raped, alive and dead, by police and Red Gaurs. Officially, there were 46 dead and 167 wounded. Puey Ungphakorn, rector of Thammasat at the time of the massacre, gives an unofficial estimate of over 100 based on anonymous sources at the Chinese Benevolent Association, which disposed of the bodies. The massacre continued until noon, when it was halted by a rainstorm. It was "brutality of the utmost barbarity against workers, students and peasant activists," according to Giles. The Border Patrol Police, Red Gaur, Nawapol, and the Village Scouts rallied at the Royal Turf Club at about 4pm and proceeded to Government House, where they demanded and received Seni's resignation.

At 6:30pm, the National Administrative Reform Council (NARC), a 24-member military junta headed by Sa-ngad, seized power. Sa-ngad had been appointed defense minister by Seni on September 25. NARC was a group of moderate officers who acted to prevent Pramarn's extreme right-wing faction from seizing power. The fact that Chumphon was willing to go on record authorizing the shootings suggests he knew that a coup was imminent, as a civilian government would have prosecuted him.

Rise and fall of ultraroyalism

The coup was greeted with widespread relief because the crisis sparked by Thanom's return had created enormous anxiety. "It was the pattern of several previous coups...initiating violence, leaving the police to show they could not establish order, then allowing the military to step in," wrote Handley. This time the manipulation of public fear was particularly brazen since the king had introduced the catalyst for the violence by allowing Thanom to return, claims Handley. The outrage triggered by the photo of the mock hanging introduced a spontaneous element, but the pattern of training and recruiting paramilitary forces during the previous year showed that violence against leftists was planned well in advance. Four days after the massacre, says Handley, the crown prince distributed awards to paramilitary personnel involved.

On October 8, NARC appointed royal favorite Thanin Kraiwixien as prime minister. Disregarding the junta's "shortlist", Thanin picked a cabinet of the extreme right, including Samak as interior minister. Sa-ngad remained as defense minister and recently retired army chief Boonchai was appointed deputy prime minister. Three thousand suspected leftists were rounded up, all media was put under censorship, and membership in a communist organization was made punishable by death. There were sweeping purges of the universities, media, and civil service. Democracy would be restored gradually under a 12-year plan. This was the most fiercely royalist and anti-leftist government in Thai history, but it also cracked down hard on corruption. About 800 urban leftists fled to the Communist-controlled dorder areas after the coup. A wave of guerilla attacks followed, but these peaked in early 1977.

Thanin's ultranationlism quickly alienated almost every segment of Thai society, much to the surprise of the king. NARC staged another coup in October 1977 and replaced Thanin with one of its own members, Gen. Kriangsak Chomanan
Kriangsak Chomanan
General Kriangsak Chomanan served as prime minister of Thailand from 1977 to 1980.A professional soldier, General Kriangsak fought against the communists in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War...

, who promised to speed up Thailand's return to democracy.Tanin's 12-year plan was revived by Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda
Prem Tinsulanonda
General Prem Tinsulanonda is a retired Thai military officer who served as Prime Minister of Thailand from March 3, 1980 to August 4, 1988. He now serves as the Head of the Privy Council of the King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej....

, Kriangsak's successor and a royal favorite. Thailand did not get an elected prime minister again until 1988.
The Communist Party of Thailand
Communist Party of Thailand
The Communist Party of Thailand - CPT was a Marxist-Leninist, Communist political party in Thailand, active from 1942 until the 1990s. Initially known as Communist Party of Siam the party was founded officially on the 1st of December 1942, although communist activism in the country began as early...

 declined after Moscow-backed Vietnam invaded Beijing-allied Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

 in 1979. This led to closer Sino-Thai relations and to a cutoff of Chinese aid for the Thai insurgents.

Massacre as history

None of the perpetrators of the 1976 massacre have been brought to justice and the issue is extremely sensitive in Thailand. The members of the junta have been amnestied, but there is no legal bar to prosecuting the other people who were involved. Many modern history textbooks in Thailand completely skip this event or include one-sided police reports from the time that claim student protesters had turned violent. Some play down the massacre as a 'misunderstanding' between the two sides, while even the most accurate are watered down versions of the event.

Thammasat University holds an annual event to display newspapers showing the atrocity, along with eyewitness accounts and historical records. A memorial was built on campus in 1996.

Samak was elected prime minister in 2008. When questioned about his role, he stated, "Only one died," and that one by accident. In an interview with CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 aired 9 and 10 February, the prime minister responded to questions about the massacre by saying he had been "an outsider by that time". He referred to, "One unlucky guy being beaten and burned in Sanam Luang". (This is a reference to artist Manas Siensingh, whose body was pulled from a pile of corpses and mutilated before cheering onlookers.)

An instance of a corpse being beaten with a chair is shown on the Single Cover, Holiday in Cambodia
Holiday in Cambodia
"Holiday in Cambodia" was the second single by the American punk band Dead Kennedys. The record was released in May 1980 on Alternative Tentacles with "Police Truck" as the b-side...

 by the Dead Kennedys
Dead Kennedys
Dead Kennedys are an American punk rock band formed in San Francisco, California in 1978. The band became part of the American hardcore punk movement of the early 1980s. They gained a large underground fanbase in the international punk music scene....

. The victim was a second year student from Chulalongkorn University
Chulalongkorn University
Chulalongkorn University is the oldest university in Thailand and is the country's highest ranked university. It now has nineteen faculties and institutes. Regarded as the best and most selective university in Thailand, it consistently attracts top students from around the country...


Further reading

See also

  • History of Thailand since 1973
    History of Thailand since 1973
    The history of Thailand since 1973 saw an unstable period of democracy, with military rule being reimposed after a bloody coup in 1976....

  • Tanin Kraivixien
    Tanin Kraivixien
    Tanin Kraivixien or Thanin Kraivixien was the prime minister of Thailand between 1976 and 1977. Tanin is a son of Hae and Pa-ob Kraivixien, and is of Chinese-Thai descent. Tanin studied law at Thammasat University, graduating in 1948. He then went to the London School of Economics to continue with...

  • Seni Pramoj
    Seni Pramoj
    Mom Rajawongse Seni Pramoj was three times the prime minister of Thailand and a politician in the Democrat Party. A member of the Thai royal family, he was a descendant of King Rama II.-Biography:...

  • Democrat Party (Thailand)
    Democrat Party (Thailand)
    The Democrat Party is Thailand's oldest political party and was the main coalition government party of the 23rd House of Representatives of Thailand. The Democrat Party's current leader is Abhisit Vejjajiva, incumbent opposition leader and former Prime Minister. The party upholds a conservative...

  • List of massacres in Thailand
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.