Opinion: The importance of remembering

During a panel discussion at the FCCT on the October 6 Thammasat Massacre, Dr Puangthong Pawakapan, talked about collecting and creating a digital archive on the events of October 6 which would become a primary source of information of the massacre as well to rehumanize and dignify the victims.

It is a salient point and one that we should pursue not only for the victims of October 6 but all other incidents where state violence has spiraled out of control

Within Thai society, there has been an attempt to gloss over events of violence from the events of October 6 to the protests of May 1992 or even the recent Red shirt crackdown in 2010.

Beyond that there are other events such as the Tak Bai massacre in 2005 in Narathiwat province as well. All of these events are carried out in the name of state security and with impunity for the state actors.

That is why it is doubly important to remember these events and archive those memories and first hand accounts. It would not only remind Thai society of our shared history, albeit a tragic one, but also not allow full impunity for the people that have carried out those heinous crimes.

Because the way October 6 has had a haunting effect on Thai society, other events will surely have a similar effect on Thai society as well, which will result in more people asking questions on the various incidents.

We should take our cue from places like Germany, where the holocaust is not only remembered in school curriculums but in a very visceral way on the streets which were once the sites of destruction and murder are remembered in plaques and street signs.

Thailand too must remember, if only to heal and move on.

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