A few days ago PPT noted that Freedom Against Censorship Thailand has posted what can only be described as an audacious post that points to the “censorship surrounding the gunshot death of King Ananda Mahidol in 1946.”
FACT observes: “The death of young King Ananda is a seminal event in Thai history yet it is not even taught to post-graduate students of history. Ananda’s death is the one event which must not be mentioned.”
That death eventually led to three seemingly innocent royal servants being put to death and the blame for the murder was placed on Lt. Vacharachai Chaisitthiwet, an aide-de-camp to Pridi Phanomyong. Pridi was hated by the old princes and the royal family for his leadership of the People’s Party that chucked out the absolute monarchy.
To cut a very long story short, FACT makes this call:
There has been remarkable progress in modern investigation and jurisprudence and forensic science since 1946. We think it is time to put this revision of history and miscarriage of justice to rest. The deaths of Chit, Bhut and Chaleo, as well as the deaths under suspicion of Pridi and Vacharachai, are no less important than the death of King Ananda. We owe a debt of history to their descendants, regardless of the outcome.
Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT) calls for Thai govt to re-open a full public inquiry into the death of King Ananda….
We are in process of opening consultation with the Law Faculty of Thammasat University and Thailand’s National Human Rights Commission to initiate this inquiry.
That is a big, big call and bound to create waves as this death remains hugely politically charged 66 years on.
For readers who want to know more, Andrew Macgregor Marshall at Zenjournalist has been doing a fantastic job posting contemporaneous documents, and lots of them. Most have never been seen, and PPT is left to wonder what all those trained historians have been doing in the archives. We have posted one of the most significant, from U.S. Ambassador Edwin F. Stanton in 1948 regarding a conversation with former Prime Minister Luang Thamrong Navasawat. Read it here (as a large PDF).
The sad thing is that FACT, Zenjournalist and PPT are all blocked in Thailand….