On 4 October, inside Thammasat University's walls, students staged a play to dramatize the past hanging murder scene of some protesters in Nakhon Pathom. The next day, some newspapers reprinted images of the hanging, re-touching the face of one of the effigies to resemble that of the Crown Prince and suggesting that the students had committed lèse-majesté.
Following the report, various army-controlled radio stations; Samak Sundaravej and Thomayantri (nom de plume of novelist Wimol Siriphaibul); claimed the students were also planning to assault the palace and Wat Bovornives Temple, encouraging Village Scouts, Red Gaur, and Navapol Gangster to kill the "communists” students who gathered in the university with some weapons and Vietnamese spies harboured inside the tunnels in Thammasat University..
By nighttime, 5 October 1976, thousands of right-wing paramilitary groups were gathered at the gates of Thammasat University.
Photo of Police General Salang Boonak aiming his pistol to the students in Thammasat University on October 6, 1976 from www.siamcollection.com
On the dawn of 6 October 1976, the rightists began firing into the University campus with pistols, automatic rifles and grenade launchers. Although the students pleaded for a ceasefire, police chief authorized a free firing followed by paramilitary groups storming in. Students who surrendered were forced to lie on the ground and were beaten, some to death. Others were shot or hung and their bodies mutilated or set ablaze. Those attempted to escape by jumping into the Chao Phraya River were also shot. The barbarism lasted for several hours until the Border Patrol Police, Red Gaur, Navapol Gangsters, and the Village Scouts re-gathered at the Royal Turf Club and were dismissed.
Photo of Military Round-up of the protesting students in Thammasat University on October 6, 1976 from www.siamcollection.com
Samak Sundaravej was awarded a position of a Minister of Interior in a military-backed civillian government. Whereas a large number of survived students and activists went into the jungle to join the Communist guerrilla fighters. These included a lot of at-present politicians, scholars and university lecturers e.g., Theerayuth Boonme, Jiranan Pitrpreecha, Seksan Prasertkul, Thongchai Winijakul, Sombat Thamrongtanyawong, Chingchai Mongkoltham, Adisorn Piangkes, Jaral Ditapichai, Weng Tojirakarn, Amorn Amornratananont, Jaturon Chaisaeng, Promin Lertsuriyadej, Poomtham Vechayachai, Surachai Sae-Dan, Prinya Thewanarumitkul, Terdpoom Jaidee.
Some students remained in the city but continued to be alliances of the underground movements e.g., Surapong Suebwonglee.
Peace deal between China and Thailand ended the support of the communist guerilla in Thailand. National reconciliation and amnesty by PM Gen. Prem Tinasulanonth brought a peaceful return of those students to Thai society whereby most of the bitter students could come to terms with the tragedy. Those who feel bitter with termination of Chinese support remain live on and preach on left-wing ideologies. Some like Promin Lertsuriyadej, Poomtham Vechayachai join Thaksin Shinawatra's business empire.
Many modern history textbooks in Thailand completely skip this event or include one-sided police reports from the time that claim student protesters had turned violent. Some play down the massacre as a 'misunderstanding' between the two sides while even the most accurate are fairly watered down versions of the event.
Thaksin Shinawatra, with his enormous wealth, can get the right combination of those brilliant old-time left-wing activists, old fashioned politicians and the extreme right-wing politicians to work for his empire. He appointed Samak Sundaravej in his late 70's, the supposed to be retired politician to lead PPP after the coup. It was a chance of a life time to be a Prime Minister for greedy Samak.
In the early months of his Prime Minister term, Samak Sundaravej, in an interview with a foreign mdia, shamelessly denied his involvment with October 6, 1976 Thammasat Massacre and said that there was only one died in that incidence. This Samak's interview challenged the conscience of those left-wing ideologists who lost their comrades in front of their eyes from the smear propaganda of the right-wing extremists.
Thaksin, the mastermind, is just very good at reliving all the parties to serve him. In this present day massacre, 32 years afterward, Samak Sundaravej the advocate, Salang Bunnak the marksman, the racketeers, the leftists such as Surachai Sae-Dan, Thongchai Winijakul, Jaturon Chaisaeng, Weng Tojirakarn, Adisorn Piangkes conspired a betrayal one over their comrades' graves and ashes.
Samak's Lie About Massacre of Students in Thammasat