Anti-junta activist Ja New attacked again by unidentified men
Well known anti-junta activist Sirawith Seritiwat, alias Ja New, was attacked by five unidentified men at a bus stop on Ratchadapisek road in Bangkok on Sunday night, which he later described as an attempt on his life.
The incident, which is not the first assault on Ja New, took place near the mouth of Soi Ratchadapisek 7 in Huay Khwang district at about 9pm, after he and about 10 members of the Startup People group launched a signature collection campaign, in front of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, to urge senators to abstain from the election of the Prime Minister in parliament this Wednesday.
After the attack, he managed to find his way to Huay Khwang police station to file a complaint and was rushed to the Police General Hospital by the police.
Ja New told reporters, from his hospital bed on Sunday night, he believed his assailants had wanted him dead because they kept hitting him on the head with wooden clubs. He said he tried to escape from his assailants but stumbled because of the uneven footpath.
“It was then they started beating me on the head with their wooden clubs. I tried to protect my head and one of them kicked me in the mouth and then more blows to the head,” he recalled.
Although he is safe now, the political activist said he would file a complaint of attempted murder against his assailants.
Ms. Nattha “Bow” Mahatthana, of the pro-election activist group, said in a Facebook post that this was not the first time that Ja New had been attacked by unidentified men. She recalled an incident when Ja New was dragged into a car by men in military uniform as he was walking out of Thammasat University’s Rangsit campus one night and taken to an unknown overgrown area.
She said the incident was captured by the CCTV system of the university and a clip of the abduction was immediately posted on social media, resulting in his captors setting him free.
Ja New also made news headlines when, several years ago, he took a train ride to Hua Hin, reportedly to investigate alleged corruption in the construction of Rajabhakti park, a new tourist attraction in Hun Hin built by the Army at a cost of about one billion baht.
The train, however, was stopped while on its way to the destination and Ja New was escorted from the train by military personnel for questioning.
Ms. Nattha added that Ja New graduated with a BA in political science from Thammasat University, but has many legal cases pending against him making it difficult for him to apply for a job.