By The Nation
The memorial events were held two months after Chaiyapoom was shot dead at a military checkpoint in a suspected extrajudicial killing on March 17. The military has stood by its claim that a soldier there opened fire in self-defence after Chaiyapoom threatened to throw a grenade.
“We want to press for truth and justice,” Chantana sae Iab from the Puentee Nee Dee Jang Club said on Wednesday.
Her organisation, together with the Cross-Cultural Foundation and the Lahu Conservation Group, had decided to stage the commemorative events out of concern that Chaiyapoom’s case would fade from public attention and questions about his death would never be solved.
Authorities have accused Chaiyapoom of engaging in drugs and said he was fatally shot as he resisted military operations at the checkpoint, but people close to him are not convinced.
People in his close circles say Chaiyapoom had campaigned against drugs and for various good causes, and he even wanted to set up a shelter for Lahu children.