A few days ago we posted on the sentencing of the so-called popcorn gunman, which we updated to include recognition of the New Mandala post by Nick Nostitz on the same topic. At New Mandala is is quite common for a series of comments to appear that often degenerate into mudslinging. In this case, though, some quite reasonable points were made. Many of the questions asked there about the shooter remain unanswered, and that is probably how they will stay.
While all of that commenting was going on, however, the anti-democrat supporters of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, made quite a different point. As Khaosod reports, the PDRC supporters “rallied Tuesday in front of Bangkwang Prison where Vivat Yodprasit recently began serving his 37-year jail term.” They did this because they know that, for them, the popcorn shooter is a hero. As the report puts it, the “demonstrators said they wished to express solidarity with Vivat, who, according to prosecutors, wrapped an assault rifle in a popcorn bag and shot at rival protesters …[leaving] a 72-year-old man paralyzed, before he died seven months later.”
After the shooting incident, the popcorn gunman “received widespread acclaim from PCAD members. Many of the demonstrators at the prison today donned T-shirts emblazoned with the words ‘Popcorn Superhero’ as a show of support.” They took a group photo, appropriately in front of a banner for Princess Sirindhorn.
Of course, this political rally was not banned by the military junta. We imagine that the junta’s members consider the shooter a hero as well.
According to the report, the convicted shooter “still loves and respects PCAD leader and monk Buddha Issara as ‘his own father’ and is relying on the monk to provide him with legal assistance.” We do not doubt that it is this fascist monk who is going to gather the four million baht that the poor country boy will require for bail. It is widely said that the monk is providing money on a monthly basis for the shooter’s family as well.
Given that the shooting took place at a rally organized by Buddha Issara, it might be concluded that he was one of the bosses.