Thai Queen attends protester cremation
With the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) having called off Monday’s demonstration and march on Bangkok‘s police headquarters, Thailand‘s Queen Sirikit (Thai: สมเด็จพระนางเจ้าสิริกิติ์ พระบรมราชินีนาถ) and HRH Princess Chulabhorn Valayalaksana (Thai: สมเด็จพระเจ้าลูกเธอ เจ้าฟ้าจุฬาภรณวลัยลักษณ์ อัครราชกุมารี) attended the cremation and funeral of Angkana Radubpanyawoot, one of the protesters killed in clashes between police and PAD protesters last Tuesday.
The queen, consort of the highly popular and revered eighty-year old Thai monarch Bhumibol Adulyadej (Thai: ภูมิพลอดุลยเดช), was joined by police chiefs, leaders of the PAD movement, and many protesters. Presiding over the ceremonies, the queen was accompanied by army chief Anupong Paojinda (Thai: อนุพงษ์ เผ่าจินดา), the opposition Democrat party leader, Abhisit Vejjajiva (Thai: อภิสิทธิ์ เวชชาชีวะ), and newly elected Bangkok Governor, Apirak Kosayodhin (Thai: อภิรักษ์ โกษะโยธิน). Founder and de-facto head of the People’s Alliance for Democracy movement, Sondhi Limthongkul (Thai: สนธิ ลิ้มทองกุล) attended as the protest group’s representative, along with thousands of others mainly from the PAD.
Queen Sirikit spoke with Angkhana’s father, Jinda Radappanyawut during the Buddhist cremation ceremony. He later discussed their conversation, detailing that the queen had given moral support and said that his daughter was a decent person who had been helping the King and working for the good of the nation. Jinda’s wife, Angkhana’s mother, was not present at the funeral; she continues to be treated for injuries sustained during the protest outside parliament. The Bangkok Post report detailing this meeting mentions that the king has donated funds to help those injured in the police clampdown.
At the closing of the funeral services there were scuffles between PAD protesters and the Army’s Commander-in-Chief, Anupong Paojinda, as he attempted to leave. Security guards had to assist him in reaching his car and protesters banged on the car as it drove away.