Yesterday, 25 November 2009, was the first day of the funeral rites of former Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej. It is a royally sponsored funeral and many of Thailand’s high and mighty attended. But it also was an occasion for the Red Shirts to gather. Veera Musikapong was there, also Nattawut Saikua. Lt Gen Khattiya Sawasdipol, “Sae Daeng”, made a brief appearance, and was celebrated by many of the Red Shirts.
Before I arrived, representatives of the Democrat Party were booed when they came to pay their respects, and left soon. Just when I wanted to go home, to the surprise of everyone, Newin Chidchob came by as well. Many people were quite shocked, and were very unhappy about his appearance. The atmosphere became very tense. Nearing the end of the rites, a line of soldiers was placed between the Red Shirts and the temple exit. When Newin walked out insults were shouted, and several water bottles were thrown at him. One of the bottles he narrowly escaped by ducking. At the temple exit one man tried to hit Newin with a motorcycle helmet, but was stopped by security officers. Newin got into his van, and left straight away. (Update – 27 November 2009: Note that Prachatai has this post available in Thai).