BANGKOK — A pro-democracy activist’s car was set on fire early Monday by an unknown arsonist after the activist led a protest calling for the impeachment of the Election Commission for its perceived mishandling of the elections.
Ekachai Hongkangwan said on a Facebook call on Monday morning that he was awakened by the noise of a car’s honk at 1.19am, only to find his Nissan Sunny car had been set on fire. One arsonist was captured on video but neighbors told Ekachai that four men were involved.
“It’s a waste of money and I am upset,” said Ekachai on a Facebook call. Ekachai refused to use a normal mobile phone line as he fears eavesdropping in the wake of half a dozen attacks against him in recent months. The car, bought by his mother for him back in 1997 for 499,000 baht, had been the target of an earlier attack though Ekachai managed to put out the fire. This time, he was too late.
The attacker caught on video was wearing a motorcycle helmet, leaving Ekachai with no way to identify them. A police complaint has been lodged and the burnt car was towed away by Lat Phrao police.
“My neighbors now fear they will come back and set fire to the shop houses next time,” said Ekachai. Ekachai believes the attack is related to his criticism of the commission, and suspects the junta might be behind the attack as it has been defending the commission. No one has come out to claim responsibility as of press time, however.
Ekachai joined others at Ratchaprasong Intersection on Sunday afternoon to campaign for signatures for a petition calling for the commission’s impeachment. Another well-known Redshirt activist, Anurak Jeantawanich, was physically attacked at this home in Samut Prakarn province after returning from the protest. Anurak suffered minor cuts on his left arm.