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A true believer

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For Samai Wongsuwan, the redshirt struggle for democracy did not end with the May crackdown in Bangkok. 

Buakham Muangma, wife of Samai Wongsuwan, above, hangs cleanly washed and ironed red polo shirts belonging to her husband at their home in Chiang Mai’s Hang Dong district. SUBIN KHUENKAEW


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A true believer

Samai Wongsuwan

For Samai Wongsuwan, the redshirt struggle for democracy did not finish with the crackdown ending the Bangkok protest.

He was a true believer and, according to his wife, Buakham Muangma,  he still had a “big job” to do.

That mission very likely included assembling the bomb that apparently killed him in an apartment in Nonthaburi's Bang Bua Thong district on Tuesday evening. It may also have included a series of other bomb attacks in the Bangkok area over the past few months.

His distraught wife told the media yesterday that Mr Samai took part in the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) rally in Bangkok early this month and apparently was in the heat of the action on April 10 when troops and demonstrators clashed in the area around Ratchadamnoen Avenue.

"He came home shortly after the April 10 incident with a gunshot wound to his left cheek," Ms Buakham said.

When he left, he told her he wouldn’t get in contact again until his big job was done.

Ms Buakham said her husband did not fear death.

He was a believer in democracy and did not take the fight for it lightly.

She said he joined UDD and the Chiang Mai 51 group to help their cause.

A military source said Mr Samai, with support from former officers in the 3rd Army region, went south after he left Chiang Mai.

He was known to have been trained in bomb-making along with red shirt supporter Krisada Klahan, who was shot dead in Chiang Mai over a month ago.

He reportedly had connections with local politicians and supervised Chiang Mai's walking street before joining the local red shirt movement.

He was arrested on charges of assaulting yellow shirt supporters and was to have appeared in court on Oct 27.
 
Adapted from a story by Subin Khuenkaew in today’s Bangkok Post.

true believer – a person who is loyal and willing to give your time and energy to something that you believe in ผู้ที่อุทิศตัวเพื่อ, ผู้ที่ยึดมั่นในหลักการ
struggle – a very difficult task that you can do only by making a great effort ความพยายาม
crackdown – strong action that someone in authority takes to stop a particular activity การใช้กำลังเข้าปราบปรามของเจ้าหน้าที่
protest – an occasion when people show that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc การประท้วง
mission – an important piece of work that a person or a group of people has been given to do ภาระกิจ หน้าที่
assemble – to make something by joining separate parts ประกอบ
apparently – based only on what you have heard or think, not on what you are certain is true; seemingly ตามที่ได้รู้มา
distraught – extremely upset, worried or confused  จิตว้าวุ่น, ว้าวุ่นใจ, สับสน
media – newspapers, television, radio, etc. สื่อ
United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) – the group originally formed to demonstrate against the 2006 coup and which supported the Somchai Wongsawat government against the PAD and which is now leading the fight against the current government. They are known for wearing red shirts แนวร่วมประชาธิปไตยต่อต้านเผด็จการแห่งชาต
troops – soldiers, especially in large numbers กองทหาร
demonstrators – people who march with other people in public to show that they support or oppose something ผู้ชุมนุมประท้วง
clash – to fight ปะทะ
incident – something that happens, usually something bad เหตุการณ์
wound – an injury in which your skin or flesh is damaged บาดแผล
cheek – on of the soft parts of your face below your eye and between your mouth and ear แก้ม
get in contact – to speak to, write to or meet someone, especially after you have not spoken to them for a long time ติดต่อ
take lightly – to not consider something carefully and seriously
cause – movement; an aim, idea, or organisation that you support or work for  วัตถุประสงค์ อุดมการณ์
source – someone who gives information แหล่งข่าว
supervise – to be in charge of an activity and to check that everything is being done correctly  ดูแล ควบคุม
arrest – (of the police) to take someone to a police station because they are believed to have committed a crime จับกุม
charge – an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime ข้อหา
assault – to attack someone violently  ทำร้ายร่างกาย
appear – to go somewhere officially because you are involved in something, such as a trial or inquiry ปรากฏตัวอย่างเป็นทางการ

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