By Suchada Tupchai
AThe vicious murder of Santi Lammaneenil, a Channel 7
special reporter who also worked for many other central news agencies,
shames Pattaya and shames the nation. Police and all concerned parties are
working together to bring the culprit or culprits to justice. The greatest
challenge of course is to the police, and whether they can do it remains to
Government policy under the leadership of Prime Minister
Thaksin Shinawatra directs Royal Thai Police headquarters to wipe out the
“influential” ones, particularly those who hire thugs and hit men to
remove those inconvenient to them. But the vicious killings still happen.
Pattaya in the space of less than two weeks has seen several revenge
shootings even though the policies are in existence. In each region the
dark powers still exist and continue to make decisions based on their own
This is not the first time that a news reporter has been
murdered in Pattaya. Manop Maneechan, a Channel 3 reporter assigned to
cover Pattaya was killed by a dark powers decision two years ago, but the
story soon died down. The killer was arrested but there wasn’t enough
evidence, making everyone suspect that the dark powers still exist and
continue to control official powers leaving them unable to fight back.
The government is creating a force that will suppress
the criminally influential, but many have escaped the blacklist whether
through influence or virtue. So the influential ones that the government
has said it will wipe out are still around and continue to carry out the
same crimes. The situation is unclear. The government says that the “same
groups” commit the crimes, but how the authorities deal with those
“same groups” is unknown and nothing has been solved.
The passing of Santi Lammaneenil is a great challenge to
the abilities of the police who are looking for the dark hands that killed
him, and to reveal the truth to the public rather than just allow this to
be one more story that will fade away with its ending unknown. The crime
was audacious. A reporter died because he reported news that upset the
influential. Sanit cannot be allowed to die in vain.
In memory of Santi Lammaneenil, the elder brother of all
Pattaya reporters, gone but not forgotten … or silenced.