Silenced Memories

Activists, relatives mark 1976 massacre

Former students and activists say they remain determined to win justice for victims of the Oct 6, 1976, student massacre despite the current stark political climate and fewer people attending the annual commemoration ceremony yesterday.

Next year will be the 40th anniversary of the massacre in which more than 40 people were killed at a protest at Thammasat University in Bangkok.

The mother of Ramkhamhaeng University student, Manu Vithayaporn, who was also killed in the Oct 6 clash, said she was saddened by what she called an increasingly repressive atmosphere in Thai society.

β€œI prepare a speech every year, but this time they [the authorities] didn't let me speak,” said the 86-year old woman, who called herself Pa Lek (Auntie Lek).

β€œIt's my son who was killed, how can I rest in peace when truth is not yet out,” she said.

The history of Oct 6, 1976, is labelled as student terrorism. No one talks about the killers and the casualties, she said.