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Injured from Lak Si Shooting in Need of Financial Help

Arkaew Saelew lay motionless before he was rescued (right) the unknown hero who was attempting to rescue him

Arkaew Saelew lay motionless before he was rescued (right) the unknown hero

Daughter of the elderly man, who was shot in pre-election violence, is in need of financial help after learning that her father is paralysed from his gunshot wound.

71 year old, Arkaew Saelew, was shot in the neck by unidentified assailants during a shooting in Lak Si district, on February 1, 2014. He was a demonstrator who had joined the Red Shirts protest in support of the election on 2 February at IT Square department store.

Arkaew was shot at the back of his neck in front of IT Square department store and laid there motion less for more than half an hour during the shooting before he was rescued by a brave bystander. He was then transferred to Viparvadee hospital where doctors successfully removed the bullet from his neck but unfortunately, the bullet has damaged his central nerve and now he is paralysed from the neck down.

After learning of her father condition, Euangfah Saelew has urged any related officials and organizations for help while insists that her father does not belong to any political group. She said that her father went to Lak Si to protest for the ballot boxes because he wants this country to have elections, he wanted to vote. There was no other agenda on his mind.

According to an interview with Khoasod English, on February 5, Euangfah explained that her father was a Thai-Chinese resident from Songkhla province before he moved to Bangkok′s Laksi district where he settled down and made a living by selling soft drinks in front of a local school. She said that her father had never joined any protest of any group prior to the demonstration for the election.

“He was interested in politics. He likes to follow the news on TV, at home. But he never joined any protest,” said Euangfah in the interview.

However, despite her plea, a number of People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) social network sites have alleged that Arkaew was in fact a member of “Cambodian armed forces” who infiltrated Bangkok to create chaos against their group.

Outraged by these accusations, Euangfah has filed a complaint with the police asking them to prosecute those who spread such rumours about her father.

“My father is Thai. He has a Thai ID card. Such postings have damaged my father′s reputation and worsened his pain,” Euangfah said to Khoasod’s correspondent.

UDD president Thida and Dr Weng visited Arkaew at Vipavadee hospital

UDD president Thida and Dr Weng visited Arkaew at Vipavadee hospital

In other response, on February 2, 2014, Thida Tavonseth, chairwomen of the United front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) and Dr Weng Tojilakarn, UDD co-leader, has visited Arkaew after he was released from the intensive care unit, to provide Arkaew’s family with financial help from UDD’s donations, and to say thank you to Arkeaw for his fight for democracy.

Amnuay Phanpairoj, UDD coordinator in Lak Si district, was one of the Red Shirts demonstrators in IT Square on February 1. He told thairedshirst.org (TRS) that prior to the shooting, he and other Red Shirts supporters have decided to stage a rally in front of IT Square in order to show support for the election on February 2.

Amnuay said that everything was normal at the demonstration on that day until an unidentified driver had decided to drive his car right at Red Shirts demonstrators that were gathering on “Local Road” in front of IT square department store.

The car incident had created a minor chaos when Red Shirts supporters, angered by the run down attempt, started to use blunt objects, and rocks to attacks the vehicle. Violence escalated when the unknown driver, in an attempt to break free from the surrounding crowd, thrown out two homemade bombs at the protestors.

According to Amnuay, there were other minor explosions after the car had escaped, and soon after the bombing the shooting occurred. Red shirts and other bystanders began to take cover inside IT Square, but some were caught in the line of fire. Seven people were injured during the course of the shooting, but none were as severe as Arkaew’s injury.

Anybody who wishes to donate to Arkaew’s family can do so by transferring it directly to the bank account of Valaiporn Saelew (Arkaew’s 2nd daughter) at TMB Bank account number 265-2-01981-7 or contact TRS for more information.

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