Banglamung officer killed in Bangkok protests mourned

Friday, 07 March 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 10 By  Boonlua Chatree

Family, friends and top police officials turned out to pay last respects to a Banglamung Police lance corporal killed in last month’s deadly police effort to reclaim Bangkok’s Phan Fah Bridge from anti-government demonstrators.

Lance Cpl. Sarawut Chaipanha died Feb. 24 at Police Hospital after being shot in the head Feb. 18. His family and fellow officers carried his body, clad in police uniform, from the police Institute of Forensic Medicine to perform bathing rites at Tritossathep Temple in Bangkok before being transported to Naklua’s Krathinglai Temple for funeral rites. The truck was followed by 10 police cars and four police motorcycles.

Pol. Maj. Gen. Khatcha Thatsart (right) presents the widow, her son and the deceased’s parents with official compensation for the policeman’s death.Pol. Maj. Gen. Khatcha Thatsart (right) presents the widow, her son and the deceased’s parents with official compensation for the policeman’s death.

Top police brass, including National Police Chief Gen. Adul Saengsingkaew and Deputy Chief Gen. Worapong Chewpreecha attended the funeral.

Sarawut was then taken to Prangsida Temple in his hometown of Nakhon Ratchasima for a three-day funeral and cremation March 2.

The officer leaves behind a 4-year-old son, Atom, and wife of 12 years, Usa Kongchai, 31. She said they only recently had begun to do well after Sarawut had completed two years of study, examination and training.

He was admitted to the police force on Nov. 1 and assigned to Banglamung Station. He had been on patrol in Bangkok since Dec 26 and, on Feb 17, was ordered to join the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order’s effort to reclaim protest sites. The Phan Fah operation also saw the death of one other police officer and four protestors.

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