11 July 2024

“An end to conscription” hashtag has become a hot trend on Twitter today, with more than 56,000 tweets, after a Facebook post about the death of a young man only ten days after he entered military service.

The Facebook post reads “Our family has received the word “sorry” for the lifeless body of a younger brother, plus 20,000 baht for initial funeral costs. Is that the price of a family’s loss? The family is suspicious of the true cause of the death. Our brother walked into a camp, but came out in a coffin.”

According to the post, the victim, identified as 21-year old Seri Bootwong, was enlisted into military service and reported to a military camp on September 1st. On September 14th, an army general notified the family that the new conscript died at about 1.45am of a blood clot, preventing blood flow to the brain.

He also posted an appointment notification for the conscript to report to a military camp, asking “Is this an appointment with death?”

Thai PBS learned the Army had arranged for the victim’s body to be returned to his home town in the northeastern province of Surin.

The victim’s elder brother told Thai PBS that the victim was healthy, strong and had no record of life-threatening diseases.

The army spokesman, Maj-Gen Thirapong Patthamasing na Ayudhya, told the media Tuesday morning that the Supreme Commander had learned about the conscript’s death, expressed condolences to his family and has ordered an investigation to determine the exact cause of the death.

He said that doctors at Bhumibol Hospital had diagnosed the conscript’s cause of death as being an irregular heartbeat and not due to any physical attack, adding that the victim’s father, Somsong, does not doubt doctors’ diagnosis.

The spokesman also said that the Army Signals Department will take care of all the funeral expenses and will provide the family with 200,000 baht.

In the past, there have been several cases of conscripts dying as a result of foul play inside military barracks.