The Thammasat University Massacre | Summary and Q&A

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September 21, 2022
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Disturban History
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The Thammasat University Massacre

TL;DR

The Thammasat University Massacre in 1976 was a violent assault on pro-democracy protesters by the Thai police and right-wing paramilitary groups, resulting in dozens of deaths and widespread sadistic assaults.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What were the main factors that led to the Thammasat University Massacre?

The Thammasat University Massacre was a result of several factors, including the growing fear of military rule among the middle class, opposition from right-wing groups, and a smear campaign that framed the protesters as communists.

Q: How did the Thai police and right-wing paramilitary groups carry out the assault on Thammasat University?

The Thai police and right-wing paramilitary groups used machine guns, grenades, and even anti-tank weapons to attack the university. They stormed the campus, engaged in a one-sided firefight, and carried out sadistic assaults on fleeing students.

Q: What role did the military-controlled media play in instigating the violence?

The military-controlled media spread misinformation, exaggerating the presence of weapons among the protesters and framing them as a communist threat. This misinformation fueled the violence and justified the crackdown on the protesters.

Q: Why were the perpetrators of the Thammasat University Massacre never held accountable?

To this day, no one has been charged for the murders that took place during the massacre. The lack of accountability can be attributed to the oppressive political climate and the subsequent suppression of pro-democracy gains.

Q: What were the consequences of the Thammasat University Massacre for the pro-democracy movement in Thailand?

The Thammasat University Massacre marked a turning point in Thailand's political landscape. The military staged a coup, a royalist government was installed, and the pro-democracy gains from the 1973 coup were washed away. The massacre further polarized the population and stifled the pro-democracy movement.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn's military regime and corruption led to student-led protests in 1973, resulting in his overthrow and exile from Thailand.

  • Calls for democracy and an end to military rule were met with opposition from right-wing groups and a smear campaign framing protesters as communists.

  • On October 6, 1976, the Thai police and right-wing paramilitary groups attacked Thammasat University, using machine guns and explosives, resulting in the deaths of dozens of protesters and sadistic acts of violence.

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