At Bangkok’s Ratchada Court on Monday, a judge ruled that Red Shirt Channarong Ponsrila was killed by soldiers acting under the authority of the Center for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES), that was created and managed by the government of Abhisit Vejjajiva during the Red Shirt protests in April-May 2010. The judge cited extensive eyewitness testimony which clearly stated that the two bullets that hit Channarong came from the direction of soldiers.
Around 3pm on May 15th, 2010, Channarong was struck twice, once in the stomach, and again in the arm as he tried to get to safety by a Shell gas station near Soi Rang Nam. The continuous onslaught of bullets made it impossible for his friends to reach him. He was eventually taken to Phayathai 1 Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
He was struck by two .223 high velocity bullets that are used in the M16s carried by Thai soldiers. The identity of the soldier responsible for the death is still unknown.
Nevertheless, his family were consoled by the decision.
Channarong’s widow Suriyan said,
My family and I are very happy today. This was a step towards achieving justice for my husband.
UDD leaders Tida and Dr Weng were also present and pointed to the wider implications of the decision.
This is an important decision for all the victims of 2010 who are still awaiting justice.
Dr Weng argued that the decision is further proof that former primer minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his Deputy Prime Minister, Suthep Thaugsuban, who was the director of the CRES, should be held criminally responsible for the death.
Monday’s decision is second in the long series of cases from 2010. On September 17th, the court determined that CRES soldiers were responsible for the death of Pan Kamkong, a by-stander.