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Cadet’s family should meet to find ‘mutual understanding’: probe head

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The Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTAF) is still waiting to be contacted by the family of Phakhapong “Meay” Tanyakan for a meeting to discuss the cadet’s death and the findings of the subsequent military probe, said ACM Chawarat Marungruang, who chaired the committee conducting the probe and has acted as its spokesperson.

Chawarat has urged the family not to shun the opportunity to find mutual understanding.
He said the family didn’t show up to hear the findings on Monday after being invited by the probe committee, because they might be occupied. The committee would now wait for the family to contact the Military Civil Affairs Department. Chawarat said he had prepared extensive information to clarify the committee’s findings for the family.
“If the family isn't confident and remains in doubt about the committee's probe, I would like them to come and talk about what made them feel that way. We will try to explain all points for which the family had questions. If the family doesn't come and talk, we will miss the opportunity to reach an understanding," he said, adding that the military would not pester the family to make contact. 
Meanwhile Phakhapong's mother Sukanya Tanyakan said in a Facebook post that she was attending a religious rite at Wat Wiwekaram in Chon Buri for her son.

Cadet’s family should meet to find ‘mutual understanding’: probe head
Chawarat has briefed the media on the findings of his committee's investigation made public last Friday. They concluded that Phakhapong's death at the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School stemmed from poor health, which ultimately resulted in heart failure.
The report admitted that the cadet had been severely and inappropriately punished prior to his death, but concluded that it did not cause his death.
The military investigation’s conclusion contradicted not only the family’s belief that Phakhapong was healthy and did not die from heart failure, but also the result of an autopsy conducted by the Central Institute of Forensic Science. That autopsy noted the cadet’s body had bruises and a broken rib possibly caused by a physical attack.
Meanwhile Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwon told reporters to ask RTAF chief General Thanchaiyant Srisuwan about why the family of Phakhapong chose not to come to the military press conference or show up to discuss the findings as invited. 
Prawit himself was under fire over his inappropriate comments about the cadet’s death, which led juvenile rights activist Ticha Na Nakorn’s to petition on for Prawit's resignation. As of Monday afternoon, the petition had 5,296 supporting signatures. 

Published : December 18, 2017

By : Jitraporn Senwong The Nation