11 July 2024

Pro-democracists held a memorial service at the October 14 Memorial in Bangkok today (Sunday) for the late and exiled Sriburapha award-winning writer Wat Wallayangkoon, who died in France in March.

Wat’s family, members of the anti-establishment movement and fellow members of the “October 6 Massacre” group, who fled into the jungle to join the ranks of the communists in 1976, laid wreaths, placed paper doves and planted red flags at the memorial, in remembrance of the former writer.

One of the attendees played a song, “from Lan Pho (in Thammasat University) to Phu Phan (a mountainous base of the Communist Party of Thailand in the north-east), on the violin, before all the participants observed a two-minute silence.

A green uniform of the People’s Liberation Army of Thailand with a red star cap was presented at the ceremony, in recognition of his service in the jungle during the 1970s.

During his days in the jungle, he penned several short stories and poems. His best known novel is “Mon Rak Transistor” (Transistor Radio Love), a romantic novel about an aspiring singer separated from his wife by military service.

Wat was charged with lèse majesté by the military junta that toppled the government of prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra in 2014. He initially fled to Cambodia and then moved to the Lao PDR until 2019, when he applied for political asylum in France after the mysterious disappearance of fellow exile Surachai Danwattananusorn.