BANGKOK — An inveterate anti-junta activist was beaten bloody by anonymous assailants Tuesday in the sixth such attack in just over a year.
Ekachai, 44, was leaving the Public Health Ministry after lodging a misconduct complaint against a royalist doctor and retired army general when the attack occurred at about 4pm. He said one of two men wearing helmets on a motorcycle called out his name and then struck him with a splintered piece of wood about half a dozen times, leaving his head bleeding.
“I didn’t think it would happen inside the ministry so I wasn’t as vigilant,” said Ekachai, who was taken to a nearby hospital in northern metro Bangkok where the ministry was located.
As with previous assaults, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack. No arrests have been made stemming from any of the prior assaults, which happened under similar circumstances.
He believes Tuesday’s attack wasn’t related to his business at the ministry but rather his long-running campaign against deputy junta leader Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan over his luxury watch scandal and army chief Gen. Apirat Kongsompong, who has left the door open to staging another coup. He has previously accused Prawit, the No. 2 junta leader, or those loyal to him of being behind the attacks.
“I don’t fight back because you don’t know what [weapons] they may also carry. So the best thing is to run,” said Ekachai, adding that there’s no point resisting unless one has a gun.
Ekachai, who served nearly three years in prison for defaming the royal family, said he will continue to oppose the junta – unarmed. He admits that his friends have begun avoiding traveling in public with him to join his activities.
“He and others said they are not disposed. Because I have been attacked many times. They are beginning to be scared,” Ekachai said.